In support of fire fighters in Essex
June 29, 2012 2 Comments
Jack Monroe has remarked on “silence from our local Councillors on this matter has been deafening” in a post about the industrial dispute between the Essex FBU and the Essex Fire and Rescue Service.
That is not quite true; I have mentioned the dispute (We’re a little concerned …. ), although I accept it was a brief post.
So, let me fully satisfy Jack:
Firstly, I resolutely defend all workers’ rights to withdraw their labour. This does not mean I agree with all strikes.
Secondly, it is noticeable that Tory governments always seem to be accompanied by more industrial unrest. I am sure the right will claim this trouble-making by left-wing infiltrators, but I reckon that attacks on public services coupled with growing unemployment and dimunition of rights is the real answer.
Third. This dreadful government promised no cuts to essential front-line services. Accepting that there will always be debate over what constitutes essential front-line services, I doubt few would argue against the Fire Service being included.
Essex is the UK’s most populous non-metropolitan county, with busy roads, big towns, a nuclear power station, significant gas storage facilities, and a large coastline. I wrote some time back, when Parliamentary Candidate for Castle Point, about my concerns with LNG storage safety issues – an issue of some concern to our firemen. Like cuts to policing, cuts to the fire service are far from reassuring.
My road is a regular through-route for tenders on their way to emergencies. Every time I see one go by I wonder what they are travelling too, rarely can it be pleasant. I understand that in straightened economic times savings have to be made, but why can these not be with the agreement of the firemen?
I wear a seat belt when I drive. Every safe journey is not a reason to have the belt removed. Similarly for fire services; victims of their success possibly, they are a guarantee that should something go dreadfully wrong then help is not far away.
As for the scabs, well I guess our democracy means that they are entitled to work against the wishes of their colleagues. I would just remind them of this.