Monday, 1 November 2010
Hendon firefighters: we won't let the bad press get us down
I went up to the picket line at Hendon fire station today, for the start of the firefighters' eight-hour strike (10am to 6pm). There seemed to be more people attending than last time, probably a mark of how much the bad press they have been getting has increased their determination.
One woman firefighter told me: "You just can't let it get to you."
The turnout was particularly impressive given that this was mostly of people from Hendon, whereas for the strike on Saturday 23 October, firefighters had attended from all over Barnet in the expectation that an AssetCo crewed fire engine would be based at Hendon.
In the event, on 23 October, a fire engine had driven four times past the station, but evidently thought better of trying to operate from there, and drove off. Today the rumour was that an engine was headed for Barnet fire station. I wonder if it ever arrived.
The firefighters were getting a good reception from passers-by. There was very little hostility, and most people - many of them students heading into lectures at Middlesex University - were happy to take a leaflet to find out more about the dispute, if they weren't already declaring their support.
There should be a good presence of firefighters at the lobby outside Hendon Town Hall tomorrow night, Tuesday 2 November, from 6pm, for the council meeting which starts at 7pm. Please come and join us if you can.
As it happens, the Times series has given the Hendon firefighters some fairly good - at least, fair - press. Article here.
And here is an earlier item about the trades council's support for the FBU.