Havering’s firefighters walk out for eight hour strike
HAVERING’S firefighters joined crews from across London in a strike over proposed changes to shift patterns and contracts at the weekend.
Crews from Romford, Hornchurch, Wennington and Harold Hill fire stations took part in the eight hour walk-out from 10am to 6pm, on Saturday October 23.
Branch chairman of Havering Fire Brigade’s Union, Trevor McKeever, said: “We were all upset that we had to go on strike but it was a huge success and a fantastic show of the strength of the Fire Brigade’s Union.”
The strike saw crews leave their stations, while local off-duty firefighters joined colleagues picketing at Dagenham Fire Station.
The action follows plans by the London Fire Brigade to sack all firefighters over their refusal to change their shift patterns and contracts.
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The proposals would see crews working 11 hour day shifts and 13 hour nights as opposed to the current patterns of two days, two nights and four days off.
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “I would rather the FBU had not orchestrated Saturday’s strike, but the contract, which was of course never designed to fully replicate the service delivered to London, has delivered.
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“The most disappointing aspect of the day has been that the people responding to calls, because of this strike, have had to suffer abuse, violence and harassment as they tried to access fire stations or attend incidents.
“Despite the mindless actions which posed a real danger to Londoners, the emergency fire crew delivered the plans to keep the capital safe. However, Londoners should never have been put at risk by the actions of a minority of individuals hell-bent on causing disruption.”
Firefighters are also set to strike for another eight hours on Monday November 1.