MERSEYSIDE DISPUTE – INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY
You will be aware from recent reports that our dispute in Merseyside has been raised with our colleagues in Firefighter Unions internationally. This included discussions at a meeting which was recently attended in Hawaii, USA, by the Assistant General Secretary, Andy Dark. This meeting was organised by the International Association of Firefighters - IAFF (USA/Canada) for discussions with colleagues in Australia (United Firefighters Union) and New Zealand (New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union). Subsequently the FBU was invited and Brother Dark was asked to attend on our behalf.
More detailed reports of these discussions will be issued in due course. However, this event also provided the opportunity to raise a number of current issues, including our dispute in Merseyside. You should by now be aware of the important assistance already provided by Derek Best from New Zealand in relation to the Merseyside dispute.
I am pleased to inform you that the issues surrounding the dispute have been raised within all three Unions and messages of support have been sent to our Merseyside members. I am happy to be able to inform you that we have today received a further letter of support from Brother Harold Schaitberger, the General President of the IAFF in USA/Canada. This includes a magnificent donation of $10,000 to the Merseyside Hardship Fund. I am sure all members will join me in thanking our brothers and sisters in the USA and Canada for this marvellous gesture of solidarity.
I know that this level of support from our brothers and sisters across the globe will be extremely welcome on Merseyside. I also hope that this clarifies once and for all why we maintain international links with our colleagues in Firefighter Unions’ worldwide.