Firefighters will strike on Bonfire Night

FIREFIGHTERS formed a picket line at Holloway Fire Station at the start of an eight-hour strike on Saturday, supported by Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn (right).

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) left their posts from 10am to 6pm in a row over changes to shift patterns.

And the union announced yesterday a 47-hour strike that will run over Bonfire Night, from 10am on November 5. A second eight-hour strike is scheduled for Monday (November 1).

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “This wasn’t a fight we sought or wanted. London Fire Brigade wants changes in shift patterns and we are willing to negotiate changes. But we do expect to negotiate them – we won’t have them imposed on us by the threat of sacking all our members.”

The FBU says London Fire Brigade (LFB) is bullying firefighters by threatening to sack those who do not sign up to new contracts with new shift patterns. LFB wants to increase the current nine-hour days and cut the 15-hour nights so that all shifts will be 12 hours long.

LFB deployed 27 fire engines and 162 contracted firefighters across the capital during Saturday’s strike.

Ron Dobson, London Fire Commissioner, said: “I would rather the FBU had not orchestrated today’s strike, but the contract, which was of course never designed to fully replicate the service delivered to London, has delivered.”