LONDON’S 5,600 firefighters have been heavily criticised for their plans to walk out on strike on Bonfire Night next Friday.
Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members are set to stage a 47 hour strike from 5 to 7 November unless the London Fire Brigade (LFB) withdraws what the union has described as a “sacking letter” sent to all staff.
However, the Prime Minister’s spokesman yesterday described the strike plans as reckless, adding: “The public would not think this is a responsible way of conducting industrial action to choose this particular day for a strike.”
LFB chairman Brian Coleman disputed the union’s claims, saying yesterday: “There are no cuts, no job losses, this is about reducing a 15 hour night shift, adding those hours to the day shift and doing more community safety work and firefighter training.”
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said workers had no choice but to strike, and added in a statement: “There’s still nearly two weeks for the London Fire Brigade to get this right. Show a little respect for your firefighters.”
London mayor Boris Johnson said there are contingency plans in place to deal with further strikes.