London Firefighters vote for strike action over pensions

This is an FBU circular to London Region members

London firefighters have voted by a massive majority to take strike action in protest at a government decision that has virtually abolished ill-health and injury pensions in the fire service. The dispute surrounds the introduction of new pensions guidance by the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) which has effectively ended the right of firefighters to claim a pension upon being medically retired, even if they were injured in the line of duty.

The move potentially affects every serving firefighter – irrespective of role or duty system – as well as those who have already retired from the service.

The Fire Brigades Union is threatening UK-wide strike action if the decision – which was made behind the back of the union – is not reversed.

A resolution calling for a ballot for national strike action was circulated throughout London branches during November and December. A final vote was taken when local area delegates attended the London regional committee meeting in central London on 17 December. Almost every branch in London voted in favour of strike action, and, of those, most were unanimous.

The union’s general secretary, Matt Wrack, has already met with CLG ministers and has insisted that the FBU stands ready to take action in the absence of a government climbdown. The union is to hold mass meetings in every region throughout the UK in the new year to build the campaign.

Members will be kept informed of developments.

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