Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

October 18, 2009 14:22 ET

South Yorkshire Firefighters-Details for Start of 24-Hour Strike Action, 6pm Monday 19 October

YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - Oct. 18, 2009) - Fire crews from across South Yorkshire start strike action at 6pm on Monday 19 October in opposition to plans to sack 744 firefighters to force through shift changes. But the Fire Brigades Union has said it would call off the strike if the threat to sack firefighters was withdrawn.

Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack and other local, regional and national officials will be available for interview near the fire authority headquarters and central fire station in Sheffield from 16.30 on Monday. The address is 197 Eyre Street, Sheffield.S1 3FG

They will remain in attendance until shortly after the end of shift at 6pm and the start of the strike. A second 24-hour strike is set to start at 6pm on 23rd October.

"The fire authority is behaving with the callous indifference of a 1930s pit owner", said Fire Brigades Union regional secretary for Yorkshire and Humberside Ian Murray. "The new shifts it wants to force through would seriously disrupt childcare and other family arrangements for the firefighters of South Yorkshire.

"The authority has been reluctant to enter genuine negotiations to reach an agreement but wants to consult and impose change. At every stage it has refused to compromise on its demand for a move to 12 hour day shift working.

"It's threat to sack 744 firefighters to force through the changes it is demanding are the worst kind of bully-boy tactics. These aggressive tactics leave strike action as the only option left to us.

"If the fire authority drops its threat to sack firefighters, we will call off the strikes. We will enter talks without pre-conditions to reach an agreement."

The fire authority is threatening to sack 744 firefighters to force through changes to their contracts of employment. Councillors want to force firefighters to work four consecutive shifts of 12 hours.

If the changes were imposed, firefighters with children would be forced to go on duty at 8 o'clock in the morning and finish at 8.00 at night. This could mean children having to spend up to 13 hours daily in childcare, if places are available.

Firefighters also work as normal at weekends, on public holidays and during school holidays, when there is little formal childcare available.

Contact Information

  • Regional and local media contacts
    Ian Murray
    07967 103345
    Jeremy Pagan
    07977 931086