With under a fortnight until the planned two-day November 5 strike by London firefighters, talks are continuing today between LFB and the FBU to defuse the situation.

The escalation in industrial action was initiated, according to the union, following London Fire Brigade's refusal to withdraw a sacking letter sent in August. Matt Wrack said: "We do not want to take this action but we have no choice. The alternative is to allow London's firefighters to become doormats for their employers to walk on. 
"The long-term safety of Londoners depends on a well-trained, self-confident firefighting force. There's still nearly two weeks for the London Fire Brigade to get this right. Show a little respect for your firefighters. Meet their representatives and hammer out a compromise with us, instead of trying to get your way by bullying."

According to a statement released by London Fire Brigade, firefighters have been offered a compromise on original proposals around shift patterns. London Fire Authority Chairman, Brian Coleman said: "There are no cuts, no job losses. This is about reducing a 15 hour night shift, adding those hours to the day shift and doing more community safety work and firefighter training."

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson meanwhile, said: "I'm not threatening firefighters, and I cannot remove a legal process we must go through if we are considering changing staff contracts because we cannot reach agreement."

An eight hour strike took place last weekend, with another planned for Monday November 1.

Posted 27 October 2010