Havering’s firefighters call off Bonfire Night Strike
HAVERING’S firefighters are back to work as normal after the Bonfire Night strike due to take place today was called off.
The Fire Brigade’s Union announced yesterday, Thursday November 4 that the strike set for 10am this morning for 47 hours was cancelled after negotiations with the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.
Branch Chairman of the Havering Fire Brigade’s Union, Trevor Mckeever said: “In light of the public safety we felt that the strike had to be called off.
“The fire cover that was going to be provided would put the public’s lives in danger so it was a case where the safety of the public had to come first.”
As part of the original plans for the Industrial action, it would have seen firefighters from Romford, Hornchurch, Wennington and Harold Hill fire stations walking out on strike and fire cover being provided by a private company called AssetCo.
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But safety concerns were raised over the training of the AssetCo workers who filled in for the firefighters on their previous eight hour strikes.
An agreement has now been reached for both sides to meet on November 16 with the independent Resolution Advisory Panel to try to solve the long-running dispute.
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London’s fire authority chairman, Brian Coleman welcomed the decision, he said: “This is a sensible move,
“These strikes have always been unjustified, unnecessary and utterly avoidable.”
The dispute is over threats by the Brigade to terminate all firefighters’ contracts over their refusals to take on new shift patterns which would see them working 13 hour days and 11 hour nights as opposed to their current patterns of nine hour day shifts and 15 hour nights.
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “My intention has always been to reach an agreement on proposals that will make Londoners safer and firefighters safer.
“Going to an independently-chaired body to help us seek a way forward is a step in the right direction.”