ESSEX, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - July 22, 2012) - FBU General Secretary, Matt Wrack, has decided to cancel two short periods of strike action and one period of 999-calls-only action on the weekend of 11th and 12th August following receipt of operationally sensitive information about Essex fire and rescue service plans in readiness for the Olympics Mountain Bike Event being hosted in Essex that weekend. Formal notification of the cancellations shall be sent to Essex fire crews and the fire authority in due course.
Last week the union lawfully called a number of short strikes thinly spread out over several months in their long-running dispute over the worst cuts to frontline 999 services in living memory and other imposed changes. These included several short periods of action that had been called for times deliberately designed to avoid disruption to the Essex Olympic event. However, some operationally sensitive information was brought to the General Secretary's attention this weekend which he was concerned could cause some confusion to 999 services if the action already called went ahead without modification.
Matt Wrack, FBU General Secretary;
"The action we originally called was deliberately timed to ensure no disruption to 999 services during the actual hours of day the Olympic mountain bike event is due to be taking place. It has always been our priority to try and limit the impact of any industrial action on public safety - our dispute is with those who are cutting the frontline service and not with the people of Essex.
"But this weekend I received some operationally sensitive information about fire and rescue planning for the event that I think had the potential to cause some confusion to 999 services if the industrial action I called went ahead. So, after consulting local Essex officials, I have decided to cancel two short strike periods and a period of 999-calls-only action originally called to take place that weekend.
"The other industrial action short of strike and the other short periods of strike action announced last week remain in place but I remain ever-hopeful that a breakthrough in negotiations will come sooner rather than later."
The strikes called for 26th July will remain in place.
The 999-calls-only action called for the night of 27th July remains in place.
The strike action for the night of 11th August remains in place.
The strike action for 5th September and 18th October remain in place.