Holloway loses fire engine as strike dates announced

THE Fire Brigades Union has confirmed two London-wide strikes will go ahead – while Islington is already down one fire engine.

The union has announced firefighters will walk out from 10am to 6pm on October 23 and November 1 – after yesterday’s ballot called for action by a 79 per cent majority.

London Fire Brigade has withdrawn 27 fire engines from across the capital as it gets its contingency plan in place – Holloway Fire Station losing one of two engines.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “The union was ready to talk – but not to be bullied.”

The dispute centres on planned changes to shift patterns.

Fire bosses want to increase day shifts from nine hours to 12, while cutting nights from 15 to 12.

Brian Coleman, Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said: “That is all these proposals seek to do, no station closures, no increase in hours and no change to the four day rest period between shifts. This is about making more time in the day for vital training and fire prevention work.”

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Firefighters have been taking industrial action short of a strike, including a ban on overtime, since September 24.