Sunday, 17 October 2010

Cuts Cost Lives - Support London's Firefighters

London's FBU members have voted by an overhwelming 79% majority in a 79% turnout to support strike action in defence of their conditions and London's fire service.

The first day of strike will be on Saturday October 23rd and FBU members will be stopping work at 10am to go straight to the joint trade union London 'No to Cuts' demonstration assembling at Chalton St, Euston at 11am.

a) Visit your local fire station and offer a message of support (see letter below).
b) Make sure you join the demonstration on Saturday - to say NO to the cuts that will have been announced by the Con-Dem Coalition on Wednesday - and to support London's firefighters as well.

Get your workmates and families, union branches and trades councils, youth and community campaigns to come along :

Saturday 23rd October
Assemble 11:00 am
outside RMT’s Unity House, 39 Chalton Street NW1 1JD
(off Euston Road, nearest tube Euston)

March to Bedford Square WC1B
to hear from Bob Crow (RMT), Matt Wrack (FBU) and other speakers,
then join the SERTUC rally in Congress House starting at 12 noon.

Here is my message of support to the FBU:

Please pass on this message of support to London's FBU members on my behalf and, I am sure, on behalf of NUT members across the Inner London boroughs that I represent.

Your excellent ballot result is a clear message to your employers that firefighters will not be bullied by threats of sackings and pay deductions. It also sends a clear example to other trade unionists how to stand together to fight the attacks on jobs and public services.

It is quite clear to the NUT that this dispute is not just about contracts, although the threatened changes to shift patterns would, alone, give you every justification to take action to defend the conditions of firefighters and their families who will struggle to find childcare over such extended day shifts. We understand that it is also about pushing through cuts to our fire service and preparing the ground for closing fire stations. I hope that we can help spread this message to teachers and schools.

We know that no fire-fighter lightly takes strike action and that you face an employer prepared to organise strike-breaking measures to undermine your action. However, with trade unionists around London facing their own attacks on jobs and services, you can be confident that London trade unionists will support your struggle.

Please do keep in contact about solidarity measures that we can help put in place and I look forward to seeing teachers and firefighters marching together on the London demonstration on 23 October.

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