Tributes to Romford’s Mick Shaw who fought for the rights of firefighters

Tributes have poured in for the former president of the London Fire Brigade Union who ‘dedicated his life to fighting for equality for firefighters’.

Mick Shaw from Olive Street, Romford lost his battle against cancer on Sunday April 1 aged just 53.

Paul Embery, regional secretary of the London Fire Brigade Union (FBU) said: “He was a very principled man and he had a great deal of intergrity.

“He was very calm under pressure and he was absolutley dedicatd to fighting for the life of firefighters and devoted the best part of his life fighting for their interests.”

The father of three joined the London Fire Brigade as a firefighter in 1977, working at Shoreditch Fire Station.

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Months after joining the service, Mick became a union activist and was instrumental in the first national strike of the London Fire Brigade during the winter of discontent in 1978 t0 1979.

He also served at Plaistow Fire Station before becoming a full time member of the London Fire Brigade Uion (London FBU).

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Paul said: “Mike was like a lot of people during the time who were politicised by the winter of discontent.

“They were fighting for better pay for the firefighters against the Labour Goverment and it left a mark on him throughout his career.”

Mick was also instrumental in fighting for justice for other workers in other industries in the UK and abroad.

He became president of the London FBU in 2007 until he retired in 2011, but shortly afterwards he was diagnosed with cancer.

The FBU’s executive council member for London, Ian Leahair said: “I know that FBU members around the country, but especially in London will be deeply saddened by this news.

“Mick was a well respected, deeply-committed official who devoted the best years of his life to fighting for the interest of firefighters.

“He was an FBU man to his core, a committed socialist and campaigner for justice in the fire service and beyond.

“He will be sadly missed by his comrades in the FBU and the wider trade union movement.”

Mick’s family have said that he will be given a private funeral but a memorial service is due to take place later in the year.

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