Fire engine

Essex strike to go ahead as fire service plans ‘lock out’

Firefighters and 999 control staff are still due to take strike action after last minute talks broke down with service managers who now plan to lock out a number of those those striking.

The strike, due to begin at 18:00 on 1 March until 9:00 on 2 March, will now see some firefighters and all control staff locked out of their stations for an increased period of 21 hours.

Alan Chin-Shaw, secretary of the FBU in Essex, said: “The fire service had a real opportunity here to avert the strike action altogether and enter into real negotiation.

“However they have taken it upon themselves to increase this industrial dispute, leaving the county unprotected for longer.

“Firefighters and control staff in Essex don’t want to strike but they are being undermined by the leadership of this service.”

The fire service has implemented a radically different shift pattern that has forced many control operators out of their job, with many more considering so.

ECFRS plans to cut 179 firefighters and 999 control operators resulting in an overall 20% cut in staff. However the FBU in Essex have put forward their own plans which would achieve the savings the fire service says it needs, but with added protections for workers.

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