Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

September 17, 2010 11:00 ET

London Firefighters Vote Overwhelmingly for Industrial Action

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Sept. 17, 2010) - London's firefighters today voted by 4014 votes to 201 for industrial action short of a strike, a majority of 95%, after the London Fire Brigade began the process of sacking all of them, the Fire Brigades Union announced today. The turnout was 76%.

LFB's sacking notices were designed to pressurise firefighters into accepting new shift patterns which would have them working 12-hour day shifts and 12-hour night shifts. The change from the present shift patterns of two nine hour day shifts and two fifteen hour night shifts a week could also pave the way for a reduction of night-time fire cover. In addition it would mean that firefighters with young families seldom get to see their children.

The FBU can now call industrial action short of a strike, which could include an overtime ban, a ban on "acting up", and withdrawal of goodwill so that firefighters only do the duties they are contracted to do.

Yesterday the FBU announced its intention to ballot members on strike action with the ballot to commence next week.

"This overwhelming vote demonstrates the strength of feeling among London's firefighters. However, even now, the London Fire Brigade can ensure there is no industrial action at all" said FBU general secretary Matt Wrack. "All the LFB has to do is return to negotiations over shift patterns, withdraw the letters and accept that shift patterns and conditions of service should be negotiated and agreed, not imposed by threatening sacking. LFB agreed with us that the negotiations were being conducted in a friendly give-and-take spirit right up to the moment they chose to start the process of sacking our members. We are willing to put this unpleasant episode behind us and return to negotiations."

Contact Information

  • Francis Beckett
    020 8349 9194 or 07813 001372