London firefighters threaten industrial action

Posted under Miscellaneous on 24 Sep 2010

All employers are urged to review their fire risk assessments and fire training in light of the following which could significantly impact on business:

London fire-fighters could down their tools in the near future following the Fire Brigades Union’s revelation that members overwhelmingly backed industrial action.

The union has issued a notice to London Fire Brigade (LFB) that it will start to ballot members for full strike action because of the dispute over proposed changes to their shift patterns. According to the union, the brigade’s management has started issuing letters of dismissal in a bid to force firefighters to accept the new shift patterns, which could result in a reduction of fire cover at night.

Under the current set up, firefighters work two nine-hour day shifts followed by two 15-hour night shifts per week, but the brigade wants to change this to equal 12-hour day and night shifts. FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said LFB should “step back from the threats they have made, including withdrawing the letters and accepting that shift patterns and conditions of service should be negotiated and agreed, not imposed by threatening sackings” to avoid a walkout.