At 9am on Thursday 12th June, FBU members all over the country walked out on a 24-hour strike. This is the first of a number of actions, including strikes and action short of a strike, taking place over the next 10 days. Darrall Cozens, President of the Coventry TUC, reports on the latest action by firefighters against attacks on their pensions.
At 9am on Thursday 12th June, FBU members all over the country walked out on a 24-hour strike. This is the first of a number of actions, including strikes and action short of a strike, taking place over the next 10 days.
We have previously reported on the issues involved – higher pension contributions and an increase in the retirement that would open FBU members up to possible sackings through capability – but now the issue of access to information has been added.
The FBU wants to negotiate to find a settlement but the government won’t release crucial information regarding the pensions issue and this stupidity and arrogance of the government is adding fuel to the fire, so to speak, as it is angering FBU members and stiffening their resolve to defend their pensions.
Members here in Coventry were in an upbeat mood and the hot weather certainly also helped to boost morale.
Nationally, many general secretaries of trade unions have already voiced their support for the FBU action and here in Coventry the Coventry TUC banner was prominent on the picket line.
It is now time for the TUC to come out publicly in support of the FBU and its members. At this moment they are in the front line of defending their terms and conditions from the cuts of this Tory government. A victory for the FBU will enthuse other trade union members to also take similar action.
What is needed now is for all public sector workers, including the FBU, to gear up and mobilise for the mass strikes taking place on July 10th.
This day could be turned into a general strike that could galvanise and mobilise millions of workers against the austerity policies of the Coalition.
Such an action could also lay the basis for a real alternative policy of socialism that will not only put an end to the capitalist system in crisis but also develop a socialist programme as the only way of ending crises and austerity.