Essex firefighters take strike action for third consecutive day against biggest cuts to frontline 999 services in counties' history
Today (Friday) at 9am Essex firefighters and 999 control staff will commence the final period of strike action called in the recent series of short duration strikes. They have been on strike and locked-out without pay by fire chiefs since 9am on Wednesday morning.
Today’s lawful strike period will end at 6pm bringing these three days of short strikes to a close. However some higher ranking officers will remain locked-out without pay until Saturday morning as punishment for standing shoulder to shoulder with the frontline fire crews under their command.
Alan Chinn-Shaw, secretary of the FBU in Essex, said: “None of us want to be on strike but I am proud of the officers, the retained firefighters, the wholetime firefighters and the emergency fire control staff who have stood together to defend the public’s fire and rescue service and our profession. The public support for us on our picket lines has been overwhelming.
“We’re facing the biggest wave of cuts to frontline 999 services in our history. This week has seen a 20% cut in the number of our emergency fire control staff and unnecessary attacks on the working conditions of those left. The next waves of attack on retained firefighters, officers and wholetime firefighters are on their way.
“Essex fire authority should realise that we will face these attacks with the same courage and pride as we tackle fires. We face this challenge as a team, we look after each other and we keep going until the job is done. It’s in our DNA.
“These strikes were and still are avoidable. We urge the fire authority to get back round the negotiating table. We urge them to reconsider their rejection of the FBU’s compromise proposals for the emergency fire control that would meet all the financial savings and productivity targets the fire authority wanted.”