by Tim Lezard Firefighters in England continue their strike action over the government’s plans to lay regulations for an unfair, unaffordable and unsustainable pension scheme. Firefighters walked out at 6pm on Friday and will not return to work until 6 …

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, FBU, UK unions,

FBU strikeby Tim Lezard

Firefighters in England continue their strike action over the government’s plans to lay regulations for an unfair, unaffordable and unsustainable pension scheme.

Firefighters walked out at 6pm on Friday and will not return to work until 6pm tomorrow.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “”Firefighters have shown magnificent solidarity as the four day strike continues.

“Firefighters up and down England have been given an amazing reception by the public who understand why they are striking.

“The resolution of this dispute is firmly in the hands of the government.”

The FBU has received many messages of solidarity from other unions. A selection is quoted below.

NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: “The NUT wishes to express full support for your union’s strike action from 31 October to 4 November. Your campaign is to be applauded and the stand you are taking today has our full backing.

“NUT members are facing similar attacks with regards to their pensions. I hope that your union’s action over the four days is successful.

“Please convey the NUT’s solidarity to all your members.”

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT members are proud to support FBU members striking to protect their pensions – we will always stand in solidarity with the firefighters.

“The Westminster government’s latest pension grab is unworkable and will be defeated. The quicker the government recognises the scale and resolution of the opposition to their plans the better.

“It may well not be safe for transport workers, especially on the sub-surface network, to present for work without proper fire safety back up. The RMT will support any transport worker who declines to work due to the safety risk during the FBU strike.”

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “PCS fully supports the action taken by FBU members in defence of their pensions and the vital services they provide.

“This government has acted totally disingenuously in negotiations with the union, and the result is an escalation of industrial action – because firefighters refuse to be treated in such a brazen manner.”

Enrique Fossoul de la Sierra, general secretary of the Spanish trade union Confederations of Workers Commission, said: “The firefighters of CCOO in Spain are sensitive to your problems which are similar to ours. We support the measures you have taken to struggle against the attack of the governments on public services and particularly focused on your pensions.

“While the financial capital and multinational companies keen growing, the Troika and our governments impose policies of austerity that stifle the workers and destroy public services.

“Regarding this situation extraordinary measures are needed. Now more than ever it is necessary that the workers get together to fight for our rights.”

 


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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