Last night on national television, the leader of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA), Councillor Brian Coleman, invited the FBU to conciliation talks at 9.00am this morning at London Fire Brigade headquarters.
However, Councillor Coleman did not appear in person, and the talks broke up without agreement.
The FBU’s Ian Leahair said: “It’s dreadfully disappointing that after four hours there was still no sign of Brian Coleman or the Chief Fire Officer, Ron Dobson. Regrettably, the brigade representatives in attendance had nothing new to say to us.
“Where was Councillor Coleman at 9.00am, having said on national TV last night that he would be here in talks with us? He is not treating this issue with the seriousness that firefighters and Londoners expect of the leader of the LFEPA.
The LFEPA proposals on new working hours would seriously disrupt firefighters’ family lives and lead to cuts in fire cover. All the same, the LFEPA does not have to reach agreement with us on shifts to get us to call off the strikes. They just have to withdraw the sacking notices that were sent out on August 11th.
Our message is that we will cancel all planned strikes if the brigade agrees to lift the mass sackings. We can then negotiate a fair settlement as equal parties. It’s just very disappointing that the fire authority is treating the union with contempt at the moment by paying lip service to negotiations.”