Barnet London Assembly member Brian Coleman says firefighters will be 'only losers' in strikes

Brian Coleman AM

Brian Coleman AM

First published in News Times Series: Photograph of the Author by

BARNET'S London Assembly member has said firefighters will be the “only losers” after voting to strike against proposed changes to their work patterns.

Yesterday London's firefighters voted overwhelmingly to take the action over plansto change the length of day and night shifts to 12 hours each.

Brian Coleman, chairman of the London Fire Authority, said: “It’s disappointing and saddening that the only losers in all of this will be firefighters.

“A strike by the FBU will be unnecessary, unjustified and viewed unsympathetically by Londoners. This dispute centres on proposed changes to make people safer.”

The authority claims the changes will help firefighters get more training during the day and stop a change of shift during rush hours in the morning and evening when demand is highest.

However, firefighters say they took the action after receiving redundancy notices from the London Fire Brigade after refusing to take the changes, meaning they have to reapply for their jobs.

Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack said: “This is a huge vote for strike action. Firefighters hate going on strike, but they hate being bullied even more.

“This vote demonstrates that London firefighters will fight these mass sackings every step of the way.

“The London Fire Brigade now needs to lift the sacking notices and start negotiating properly. I hope that even at this late stage, Ron Dobson will do the sensible thing, so we can get round a table with him and sort out our differences over shift patterns without a gun being held to our heads.”

The union is expected to meet today to iron out strike dates and the LFB has withdrawn 27 engines from across London from service in preparation for any walkouts.

Comments (4)

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9:51am Fri 15 Oct 10

mrsangry999 says...

More drivel from Coleman: the firefighters deserve our full support, and I am sure that the public is hugely sympathetic to them as a. they are fed up of being bullied too, and b. we all recognise and appreciate the uniquely difficult job they do. I wonder if Coleman would last five minutes in a real job like theirs? What a shame we cannot sack all our Tory councillors make them reapply for their 'jobs'.
More drivel from Coleman: the firefighters deserve our full support, and I am sure that the public is hugely sympathetic to them as a. they are fed up of being bullied too, and b. we all recognise and appreciate the uniquely difficult job they do. I wonder if Coleman would last five minutes in a real job like theirs? What a shame we cannot sack all our Tory councillors make them reapply for their 'jobs'. mrsangry999
  • Score: 0

9:55am Fri 15 Oct 10

GBee says...

As ever, Coleman completely fails to grasp the issue.

Firefighters won't be the 'only losers' if they go on strike.

Firefighters provide a superb and invaluable public service and deserve to be treated accordingly.

If they're bullied into strike action the public will be at risk and the blame will lie solely at the door of Coleman and the London Fire Authority.
As ever, Coleman completely fails to grasp the issue. Firefighters won't be the 'only losers' if they go on strike. Firefighters provide a superb and invaluable public service and deserve to be treated accordingly. If they're bullied into strike action the public will be at risk and the blame will lie solely at the door of Coleman and the London Fire Authority. GBee
  • Score: 0

10:06am Fri 15 Oct 10

chrisw71 says...

Not just firefighters, but their families and ultimately the public will be losers; of course the likes of Coleman insulated from reality in his world of political rhetoric and gravy train expenses will not have to suffer as a result of his bullying and lying. Just the "little people".

This dispute is not about money, it is not about protecting 2nd jobs or beds as some would have you believe and it certainly isn't about refusing modernisation that will lead to safer communities.

It is about a lying, bullying employer who wants to force through "change" for no other reason but to enable cuts in the service Londoners pay for.

Ask your local firefighters for the truth, you certainly won't get it from Coleman.
Not just firefighters, but their families and ultimately the public will be losers; of course the likes of Coleman insulated from reality in his world of political rhetoric and gravy train expenses will not have to suffer as a result of his bullying and lying. Just the "little people". This dispute is not about money, it is not about protecting 2nd jobs or beds as some would have you believe and it certainly isn't about refusing modernisation that will lead to safer communities. It is about a lying, bullying employer who wants to force through "change" for no other reason but to enable cuts in the service Londoners pay for. Ask your local firefighters for the truth, you certainly won't get it from Coleman. chrisw71
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Fri 15 Oct 10

RichC says...

On an interesting side note regarding "the LFB has withdrawn 27 engines from across London ".

The pumps were removed the day before the strike vote. Slightly inflammatory?
On an interesting side note regarding "the LFB has withdrawn 27 engines from across London ". The pumps were removed the day before the strike vote. Slightly inflammatory? RichC
  • Score: 0
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