Bonfire Night strike looms as union talks break down

Marion Dakers
A FIREFIGHTER strike across the city on Bonfire Night looked increasingly likely yesterday, after talks between the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the London Fire Authority (LFA)?broke down.

Members of the union are due to walk out in a row over new contracts for two days from 5 November. Firefighters claim they face the sack if they do not agree to the terms.

The FBU complained yesterday that the bosses of the fire authority did not attend the negotiations, despite slamming the union for refusing to talk earlier in the week.

LFA chairman Brian Coleman hit back, saying: “The compromise of an 11 hour day and 13 hour night shift is achievable through talks, and the FBU have today walked away.

“Our message is simple – call off the strikes now and meet us on 5 November at the Resolution Advisory Panel which has the ability to resolve this dispute.”

Fire minister Bob Neill described the strike as “old fashioned militant muscle-flexing” during an emergency House of Commons debate.