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Brentwood firefighters preparing for second strike day

PUBLISHED: 09:17 06 July 2012

fire strike -  picket line at Brentwood fire station

fire strike - picket line at Brentwood fire station

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»Brentwood firefighters are preparing for a second walkout tomorrow (Saturday) over a dispute in service cuts.

It will be the second of five days of action proposed by members of the Fire Brigades Union.

The first was last Thursday which saw 30 Brentwood firefighters walk out at 10am and stand on the picket line.

Union chiefs say Essex will have lost one in five frontline firefighters since 2008 if planned cuts go ahead.

Alan Chinn-Shaw, from the FBU, said this is a loss of about 165 firefighters.

He added: “In Brentwood all the firefighters walked out and had a branch meeting outside the station in the morning.

“They were joined by Lionel Lee, former chairman of the fire authority, and David Turner, former chief officer for Essex Fire and Rescue, who gave them support.

“It went really well and there was a lot of support.

‘Meeting’

“We are meeting management to talk to Acas (a reconciliation service) this week to work towards resolving this.”

Dave Bill, assistant chief fire officer for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, said: “From an operations point of view the day passed largely without incident.

“We will be reviewing our activities in detail but as expected there were no serious issues and our plans stood up well.”

Chief fire officer David Johnson said: “We have said all along that talking is the best way to settle this dispute and we are delighted the FBU has agreed to get back round the table with Acas.

“To my mind it might have been better to have taken this position before taking their members out on strike, but we are where we are, and we are hopeful that we can get to a position where we can move things forward.”

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