London firefighters to take industrial action next week

London firefighters have voted by nine to one to take industrial action from next Thursday (August 13) to counter management attacks on their conditions of service.

The action by members of the Fire Brigades Union will begin with a ban on all non-contractual overtime and a ban on all new acting-up and temporary promotion. Middle manager union members will also be instructed to adhere strictly to protocols surrounding hours and duties.

FBU regional official Paul Embery said: “The union is committed to escalating the action if necessary, for instance with a ban on all voluntary activities.

“The current dispute had been brewing for many months following a series of attempts by management to worsen conditions of service in a number of areas.

“The vote for industrial action shows the anger and frustration of our members. They are sick and tired of being battered around and taken for granted by a brigade hierarchy that has no interest in listening to their concerns. We are always reluctant to take industrial action, but there comes a point when you have to start forcing your employer to start paying attention.

“The brigade cannot for ever get away with abusing its workforce and treating them with contempt. If you treat people like cattle, you are going to get kicked. The brigade just got kicked.”

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