Friday, 13 August 2010

Government gunning for London's firefighters

This story has been lurking about in the background for a while. Now, in an attempt to impose shift changes, London Fire Authority, which employs London's 5,000 firefighters, has given them 90 days' notice of termination of contract. According to this Morning Star report:
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson wrote to the government and Fire Brigades Union (FBU) leader Matt Wrack to tell them the authority was opening consultation on "terminating the contracts of these staff and offering to re-engage them on new contracts of employment."

...London FBU executive council member Ian Leahair said members will be balloted for action short of strike immediately, with the possibility of a city-wide strike at the end of October if the authority does not rescind its threat.

During the last major firefighters' dispute in 2002-3, the strikers were covered by soldiers using the ageing Green Goddess appliances, which have since been retired.

But this time, Mr Leahair said, the authority planned to call on privateer Assetco - which leases fire engines to the London Fire Brigade - to "roll out the red fire engines" crewed by a "dad's army of retained firefighters and security contractors" given only three weeks' training.
We know who has been dining at the expense of AssetCo, don't we? Our own Brian Coleman, chair and leader of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA). Tory Troll blogger Adam Bienkov has drawn together the threads of this story.

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