Union continues fight against pensions and privatisation

FBU members in Parliament, December 2014

FBU members in Parliament, December 2014. Pic courtesy South West FBU

The FBU is to name and shame MPs who voted in favour of making firefighters work until they are 60.

Hundreds of firefighters yesterday lobbied their MPs to vote against the plans and, although Labour voted against it, the Tories and Lib Dems voted in favour.

Tweeting after the vote, which was passed by 313 to 261, FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “To be clear: we WILL publish all the details of the vote in HoC, who voted for us, who voted against. Who suggested support, but didn’t.”

And later, he added: “Let’s be clear. We won the debate, but lost the vote. The government needs to understand we are not going away.”

* Responding to plans by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude to have the UK fire and rescue service run and delivered by a private company, Matt Wrack said: “We are wholeheartedly against our service being delivered by a private company whose main motive will be to turn a profit ahead of keeping the public safe.

“It is disgusting that a government is even considering running a lifesaving emergency service for profit in place of a fully accountable and publicly owned world class service.

“Firefighters in Cleveland have overwhelmingly rejected offers of mutualisation. In a YouGov survey 97% of firefighters said they were fully against the proposals.

“Firefighters know what’s best for their profession and services delivered by profit driven companies is not it.

“Frontline fire and rescue services in the UK have already been hit by devastating cuts and the use of private sector companies will only worsen the situation and risk public safety.

“Since 2010, we’ve lost more than 5000 firefighter jobs, 39 stations have closed and 999 emergency response times have increased by more than two minutes.”

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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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