The Fire Brigade Union in the UK protesting for better pay - vote this week about possible strike
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“Strike action will always be a last resort. But we are running out of options. Many firefighters and control staff are desperate"
On 6 December, over 2,000 firefighters and control staff from across the UK assembled in Westminster to protest low pay after a demand for a 5% pay raise has been recently rejected.
"We have firefighters using foodbanks. Our members worked through the pandemic to help protect their communities, taking on extra duties to do so. A further real-terms pay cut is an absolutely disgusting way to thank them", Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said to the BBC already on November 16.
The debate over low wages amongst firefighters have been going on for a long time, but has intensified since rising living costs and especially soaring energy costs have struck hard against many firefighters and their families in the last year.
If the Fire Brigade Union members do decide to go on strike, it will be the first time they have done so in almost a decade.
The FBU officially opened their Strike Ballot on Monday December 5th. According toan article on FBU´s home page, firefighters and control staff are being balloted (asked to vote) if they would support a potential strike action.
Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, writes:
“Strike action will always be a last resort. But we are running out of options. Many firefighters and control staff are desperate. Some are struggling to afford for they and their families to live. It is a dreadful and very serious state of affairs. We are doing everything we can to secure a decent offer. We have held talks with and written letters to many different parties. But no such pay offer has been forthcoming.
“It is the responsibility of fire service employers and governments to pay their staff properly. That is part of their responsibility of running the fire and rescue service. We look forward to receiving a pay offer from them that addresses the cost of living crisis firefighters and control staff are living through. We have been mandated by our members to fight for pay that they can live on and will do that.”
Cover Photo: (Above) A demonstration for better pay at Westminster by FBU members on December 6, 2022. Photo: Fire Brigade Union, UK.