FBU

Fire in our bellies

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On 16 September, 2,500 firefighters (well over half of those not on duty) marched through London to the headquarters of the London Fire Brigade (LFB) to demand an end to the policy of mass sackings being considered by management and the Tory-led fire authority.


Photo: Tom Walker

When this was not forthcoming, it was announced from the steps of Brigade headquarters that we were serving them seven days notice of our intent to ballot for strike action. This was followed the next day by the result of a ballot for industrial action short of strike; a 95 percent yes vote on a 76 percent turnout.

Let the people decide: Merseyside FBU considers standing in elections

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Once again public services are under attack. The current round of government grant settlements, essential money for local authorities from central government, has been decided.

As a result fire and rescue services around the country, but particularly in the north west, will receive funding which represents as little as 1 percent of the overall budget for this year, and 0.5 percent for the next two years running. It is significantly lower than the current rate of inflation and clearly a cut in the budget in real terms.

Firefighters - Time to take sides

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The firefighters' strike has put class struggle back on the agenda.

Tony Blair's watchword for industrial relations has always been 'partnership'--problems between bosses and workers can be resolved without reference to strikes or other forms of industrial dispute. But there's nothing like a strike to show the true attitudes of those who preach industrial peace. Partnership works as long as the employers and their allies in the media, the government and among the rich and powerful get their way.

Up the Barbara

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Add up housing costs and average wages and £30k looks modest.

It seems to have come as quite a shock to lots of different people that train drivers on the London Underground already get paid £30,000 a year. Strike a light, guv, they must all be 'anging aht in penthouse suites up the old Barbara*, an' no mistake! Up to a few years ago, anybody getting this kind of money--even in London--would be doing pretty well. But it's by no means a spectacular whack in 2002.

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