Monday, 1 November 2010


London FBU strike today -

The Green Party Trade Union Group sent the following statement to the London Firebrigades Union regarding the industrial action today and on November 5th and 6th. Here is also a report from the Politics Show on the issues involved and refusal of London's Tories, in the person of Brian Coleman, to deal with the dispute.

I am sending you the support of the Green Party Trade Union Group who decided at our committee meeting to totally support the London fire strike and the struggle of the FBU against the draconian measures being introduced by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and the threat of sackings. We stand in solidarity with you and hope that your industrial action will bring the employers to the table for further negotiations and that they will end their attempts to settle this dispute under duress.

Members of the Green Party and Green Party Trade Union Group will be joining picket lines across London on November 1st and on the 5th and 6th of November.

In Solidarity

Joseph Healy


Green Party Trade Union Group

Rugby Green Party says: As we know fire stations are being closed in Warwickshire including Brinklow. The CON DEM government appears to gearing up to fight these essential workers and their Trade Union by using a scab labour private company called Asset Co with very poorly trained 'new' fire fighters at a cost of £12 million to the public sector. Hopefully the FBU will be able to reach out and bring these workers into the labour movement as it is clearly neither a safe service for London people or the workers themselves.

From the London Standard -

London's stand-in fire crews 'will struggle on bonfire night'

A stand-in firefighter has revealed major concerns about whether temporary crews will be able to keep the capital safe on bonfire night.

The contractor raised fears about their lack of training and the threat of intimidation from striking firefighters they have been hired to replace.

It came as members of the London Fire Brigade Union began an eight-hour stoppage at 10am, the second in protest at management plans to dismiss all 5,500 front-line staff and re-employ them on fresh contracts to force through new shift patterns.

Talks to halt today's strike and a 47-hour walkout on Friday, which will include firework and Diwali celebrations, broke up without agreement yesterday. The stand-in worker is one of 700 recruits hired by private contractor AssetCo under its £12 million, seven-year deal to provide back-up for the London Fire Brigade. He said that while their 12 days of “rigorous” training had given them a basic knowledge of “defensive” firefighting, he doubted their “offensive” capabilities — entering burning buildings with breathing apparatus and hoses.

The source, an HGV driver who is being paid £20 an hour to drive one of 27 fire engines providing cover for the capital during the walk-outs, said bonfire night was likely to stretch the contractors to breaking point.

He added: “I think we can cope with the eight-hour strike if we are protected and escorted. But bonfire night is going to bring this to a head. Calls quadruple on bonfire night.”

AssetCo, based in South Ruislip, draws many of its recruits from the Uxbridge-based Reliance Security Group, which provides security guards for shopping centres and to transport prisoners to and from courts. The temporary crews were sent on a course in Lincolnshire, where they were taught basic techniques in firefighting and dealing with road accidents.

There was a two-hour classroom briefing on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents, which could include terrorist attacks.

The source said: “Full-time fire crews get 16 weeks' training. We got 12 days. That tells its own story. Even after 16 weeks, full-time crews are on probation for three years.”

A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: “The contingency plans have, for the second day of FBU strike action, been rolled out on schedule. All 162 contract staff providing the fire and rescue service in the capital today are either now available or waiting to be deployed from the brigade's training centre in Southwark.”

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