From Friday 31st October, FBU members across England will be taking four days of strike action as part of their long running dispute with the government over pensions. Firefighters are being expected to work an extra 5 years (up to 60) with reduced pension entitlements if they have to leave the service early.
Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party
Socialist Party members visited a number of the picket lines where support for the strike was strong. At one picket li Add Mediane, trick or treaters whose family members were on strike elsewhere joined the picket line in support. At Gipton fire station, pickets watch bewildered strike breakers struggle to turn a TV on in the station for twenty minutes, where on person quipped “if they can’t manage that then I wouldn’t want them responsible for saving my life.”
Whilst this marks a step up in action, some firefighters were worried that the length of this dispute may start to take a toll on firefighters. When mentioned that pre-92 university lecturers were also in dispute over pensions, as well as other workers striking recently over pay, several pickets agreed with the need for co-ordinated action to challenge the whole austerity agenda.