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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 August 2005
Firefighters defend life-saving services
SUFFOLK FIREFIGHTERS turned out in force on the picket lines on 2 and
5 August in their protest against the removal of turntable services from
Bury St Edmunds and the loss of 12 frontline jobs.
Roger MacKay, President, Ipswich and District TUC
I went to the main fire station in Ipswich with a trades council
message of solidarity. Support for the firefighters was obvious from the
numbers of passing cars giving blasts on their horns. I spoke to Simon
Roberts, the trades council FBU delegate:
"Fighting cuts to the fire service has become an annual event
for us. According to the Audit Commission, Suffolk spends
proportionately less on its fire service than any other local
authority, so we're already pared down to the bone.
"After the national dispute, they have obviously felt
confident enough to go ahead with some of the so-called modernisation
programme. But however they disguise it, these are cuts to the
"We're already over-stretched and the loss of the Bury St
Edmund service will increase response times and inevitably affect the
efficiency of the service. Our safety and the safety of the public is
"We've lobbied the county council extensively over the past
few months and recent remarks by their spokeswoman that we haven't
spoken to them since calling for action are hardly constructive. We've
asked to see the risk assessments that supposedly justify their
proposals, but they have refused.
"If they get away with these cuts in Bury St Edmunds, who
knows what will go next? We've got 240 firefighters in Suffolk. If
they were to make similar cuts in Ipswich, another 12 jobs, that would
represent 10% of the workforce. We will continue our action to fight
Suffolk FBU have called two further strikes on 8 and 11 August. A
march and rally will be held on 11 August, starting from Princes Road
Fire Station, Ipswich, at 2pm, with a rally in the town centre.
Any support, trade union banners etc, will be welcomed.
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In The Socialist 11 August 2005:
Defend democratic rights
Trade unions must mobilise against terrorism, racism and war
Dewsbury: Uniting and organising against racism
60 years after Hiroshima: Nuclear proliferation makes socialist change more urgent
Justice for Heathrow's Gate Gourmet workers
No hospital closures
Journalists on all-out strike
Firefighters defend life-saving services
Royal Mail announce redundancies
Northern Ireland after the IRA statement: Why the 'peace process' continues to flounder
Greek workers resist neo-liberal attacks
Union split reflects crisis in US labour
The Socialist 11 August 2005 |
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