Following a Fire Brigades Union ballot, London firefighters have voted in favour of new start and finish times, and 10.5-hour day shifts/13.5-hour night shifts. According to the Union, the latest offer was arrived at after mediation by the Resolution Advisory Panel.
FBU executive member for London, Ian Leahair, said: "We're pleased, of course, that a sensible compromise has been achieved. This was always our objective. I wish it could have been achieved without the foolishly dramatic threat to sack all London firefighters, which led to two one-day strikes. The FBU now looks to the swift resolution of some outstanding issues.
"First, there are 27 fire engines belonging to the people of London which have been taken away to a secret location, and are unavailable for use. They will be needed over the Christmas period, and should be returned.
"Second, London Fire Brigade is trying to discipline several of our members on trumped-up strike-related charges, though taking no action at all against the strikebreakers who drove vehicles into our members and caused injuries. These charges should now be dropped."
Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, Councillor Brian Coleman said: "I welcome the result of the ballot by the FBU. It demonstrates that the strikes were completely unnecessary and should never have happened in the first place. The decision to change start and finish times will be taken on January 13 by the Authority. It is now time that the FBU called off the action short of a strike that has been going on since September."
London Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson said: "I'm really pleased with the outcome of the ballot, which looks likely to offer a resolution that will bring this longstanding dispute to an end."
Posted December 23 2010