Updated: Essex firefighters launch 24-hour strike

Working fire crews prepare for the day ahead

Working fire crews prepare for the day ahead

First published in News

FIREFIGHTERS have been called out nine times since union members started a 24-hour strike.

The Essex Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members are on strike until 9am tomorrow morning - the third walk out in three weeks in a protest over service cuts.

Since the start of the action at 9am today, working crews have attended five false alarms, including one at Phones 4 U in Basildon, others were at Braintree, Southend and Colchester.

They also attended a tree fire in Chelmsford Road, Battlesbridge this afternoon, the fire was out on arrival. Other incidents were dealt with in Chelmsford, Witham and Loughton.


An Essex County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said about 120 firefighters are still working today, along with more than 30 officers and senior management.

They are also being supported by a number of retained crews.

Service managers were due to meet with representatives from Acas this morning to try and find a way forward in the long running dispute, which has been ongoing for three years.

During times of reduced fire cover, the fire service has advised residents to still call 999 in an emergency. They are also encouraged to test smoke alarms.

As part of today's walk out, striking firefighters also held a rally and march in Chelmsford and were heard booing as they marched past County Hall in Duke Street.

Firefighters first held an eight-hour strike on June 28 and a one-hour walkout nine days later. It is thought more industrial action will take place if an agreement cannot be struck between the FBU and fire service bosses.

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:11pm Wed 18 Jul 12

rjsizzler says...

These firefighters should be ashamed of themselves for striking.

Disgruntled with cuts they may be, but striking won't bring support from me. Get round the table and have grown up negotiations instead of the usual approach by unions to call or threaten strikes as soon as their members aren't happy.
These firefighters should be ashamed of themselves for striking. Disgruntled with cuts they may be, but striking won't bring support from me. Get round the table and have grown up negotiations instead of the usual approach by unions to call or threaten strikes as soon as their members aren't happy. rjsizzler
  • Score: -2

12:31pm Wed 18 Jul 12

fletch12107 says...

rjsizzler wrote:
These firefighters should be ashamed of themselves for striking.

Disgruntled with cuts they may be, but striking won't bring support from me. Get round the table and have grown up negotiations instead of the usual approach by unions to call or threaten strikes as soon as their members aren't happy.
They have been round the table but the BOSSES are reluctant to talk and are just reciting the "cuts" mantra. If it wasn't for unions then nobody in this country would have the working conditions and salary that they have today. The firefighters have no need to hang their heads as they appear to be the only ones standing up against the cuts. In a year or so's time there will be less Army,Nurses,Police, and all other public employees but there will not be less MP's,Bankers or Senior civil servants so please dont condemn the Firefighters who are trying to maintain safety standards for everyone.
[quote][p][bold]rjsizzler[/bold] wrote: These firefighters should be ashamed of themselves for striking. Disgruntled with cuts they may be, but striking won't bring support from me. Get round the table and have grown up negotiations instead of the usual approach by unions to call or threaten strikes as soon as their members aren't happy.[/p][/quote]They have been round the table but the BOSSES are reluctant to talk and are just reciting the "cuts" mantra. If it wasn't for unions then nobody in this country would have the working conditions and salary that they have today. The firefighters have no need to hang their heads as they appear to be the only ones standing up against the cuts. In a year or so's time there will be less Army,Nurses,Police, and all other public employees but there will not be less MP's,Bankers or Senior civil servants so please dont condemn the Firefighters who are trying to maintain safety standards for everyone. fletch12107
  • Score: 2

12:48pm Wed 18 Jul 12

rjsizzler says...

Most industries, public and private are experiencing cuts (companies like RBS made thousands redundant just to name just one example). It's not the "cuts' matra - it's reality!

Public sector employees need to realise the current economic situation affects EVERYONE including them. In the last few years my pension contributions have gone up and the pot has shrunk but I haven't gone on strike from my private sector job because I understand that is the way things are right now; we're all experiencing cuts.

My main point relates to your final one - if they are trying to maintain safety standards then I would suggest striking doesn't really show much commitment towards that.
Most industries, public and private are experiencing cuts (companies like RBS made thousands redundant just to name just one example). It's not the "cuts' matra - it's reality! Public sector employees need to realise the current economic situation affects EVERYONE including them. In the last few years my pension contributions have gone up and the pot has shrunk but I haven't gone on strike from my private sector job because I understand that is the way things are right now; we're all experiencing cuts. My main point relates to your final one - if they are trying to maintain safety standards then I would suggest striking doesn't really show much commitment towards that. rjsizzler
  • Score: -3

2:56pm Wed 18 Jul 12

fletch12107 says...

rjsizzler wrote:
Most industries, public and private are experiencing cuts (companies like RBS made thousands redundant just to name just one example). It's not the "cuts' matra - it's reality!

Public sector employees need to realise the current economic situation affects EVERYONE including them. In the last few years my pension contributions have gone up and the pot has shrunk but I haven't gone on strike from my private sector job because I understand that is the way things are right now; we're all experiencing cuts.

My main point relates to your final one - if they are trying to maintain safety standards then I would suggest striking doesn't really show much commitment towards that.
Its reality that the people at the bottom of the pyramid are being TOLD they are having a cut but I dont read of any politician,senior banker,council executive etc volunteering to take a cut in salary or bonus to save a single collegue from the dole. So the reality is occasionally you have to stand up and fight for what you think is right and the Fire fighters believe that cuts cost lives. The Firefighters that are striking are not putting anyone at danger as the fire engines are being manned by non-striking fireman (they have a name but I shall refrain from using it here) so the only people losing out are the strikers as they will not get paid. If their action stops further cuts by way of Fire Station closures in the future I feel that a pat on the back would be better than ill informed criticism.
[quote][p][bold]rjsizzler[/bold] wrote: Most industries, public and private are experiencing cuts (companies like RBS made thousands redundant just to name just one example). It's not the "cuts' matra - it's reality! Public sector employees need to realise the current economic situation affects EVERYONE including them. In the last few years my pension contributions have gone up and the pot has shrunk but I haven't gone on strike from my private sector job because I understand that is the way things are right now; we're all experiencing cuts. My main point relates to your final one - if they are trying to maintain safety standards then I would suggest striking doesn't really show much commitment towards that.[/p][/quote]Its reality that the people at the bottom of the pyramid are being TOLD they are having a cut but I dont read of any politician,senior banker,council executive etc volunteering to take a cut in salary or bonus to save a single collegue from the dole. So the reality is occasionally you have to stand up and fight for what you think is right and the Fire fighters believe that cuts cost lives. The Firefighters that are striking are not putting anyone at danger as the fire engines are being manned by non-striking fireman (they have a name but I shall refrain from using it here) so the only people losing out are the strikers as they will not get paid. If their action stops further cuts by way of Fire Station closures in the future I feel that a pat on the back would be better than ill informed criticism. fletch12107
  • Score: 5

4:11pm Wed 18 Jul 12

steve@eastwood says...

Fletch12107.........
. You speak a lot of sense my man.
Unfortunately the general concensus of peoples thoughts disagree with you.
People have already made up their minds about the FF strikes so convincing them otherwise is pointless.
If they were to read the many statements available on the web about this action being taken they would then understand that the management at Essex Fire, although prepared to talk to ACAS, have firmly stated that they will not move one inch on their already imposed cuts. Therefore all this nonsense about FFs not talking is just uneducated twaddle.
Let it lie Fletch.
Regards
Steve12631
Fletch12107......... . You speak a lot of sense my man. Unfortunately the general concensus of peoples thoughts disagree with you. People have already made up their minds about the FF strikes so convincing them otherwise is pointless. If they were to read the many statements available on the web about this action being taken they would then understand that the management at Essex Fire, although prepared to talk to ACAS, have firmly stated that they will not move one inch on their already imposed cuts. Therefore all this nonsense about FFs not talking is just uneducated twaddle. Let it lie Fletch. Regards Steve12631 steve@eastwood
  • Score: 3

4:40pm Wed 18 Jul 12

rjsizzler says...

Unfortunately, unions have a bad reputation for outrageous demands and strike action (e.g. London Underground).

Just because I don't agree with firefighters striking as a method of negotiation does not make me ill-informed nor does it make what I'm saying 'twaddle'.

I guess if they are covering a full service with some on strike they aren't doing themselves any favours saying the cuts will cost lives.
Unfortunately, unions have a bad reputation for outrageous demands and strike action (e.g. London Underground). Just because I don't agree with firefighters striking as a method of negotiation does not make me ill-informed nor does it make what I'm saying 'twaddle'. I guess if they are covering a full service with some on strike they aren't doing themselves any favours saying the cuts will cost lives. rjsizzler
  • Score: -1

4:58pm Wed 18 Jul 12

firedog says...

Five false alarms I wonder who put those calls in,surley not the striking
union members who are on strike for because cuts might endanger the
public.
Five false alarms I wonder who put those calls in,surley not the striking union members who are on strike for because cuts might endanger the public. firedog
  • Score: -2

5:13pm Wed 18 Jul 12

firedog says...

Sorry about the spelling error.
Sorry about the spelling error. firedog
  • Score: -3

5:13pm Wed 18 Jul 12

firedog says...

Sorry about the spelling error.
Sorry about the spelling error. firedog
  • Score: -3

5:17pm Wed 18 Jul 12

steve@eastwood says...

firedog wrote:
Five false alarms I wonder who put those calls in,surley not the striking union members who are on strike for because cuts might endanger the public.
Presumably the Fire Service never get false alarms when they are working normally then.
Sick comment firedog.
False alarms have cost lives in the past, they are not to be joked about/taken lightly.
[quote][p][bold]firedog[/bold] wrote: Five false alarms I wonder who put those calls in,surley not the striking union members who are on strike for because cuts might endanger the public.[/p][/quote]Presumably the Fire Service never get false alarms when they are working normally then. Sick comment firedog. False alarms have cost lives in the past, they are not to be joked about/taken lightly. steve@eastwood
  • Score: 4

7:14pm Wed 18 Jul 12

firedog says...

If you do not think it could not happen,
you oviously have never been involved
in an F.B.U. strike Steve.
If you do not think it could not happen, you oviously have never been involved in an F.B.U. strike Steve. firedog
  • Score: -2

10:49pm Wed 18 Jul 12

Last Poster says...

rjsizzler wrote:
These firefighters should be ashamed of themselves for striking.

Disgruntled with cuts they may be, but striking won't bring support from me. Get round the table and have grown up negotiations instead of the usual approach by unions to call or threaten strikes as soon as their members aren't happy.
I think you are the one to be ashamed. Have you really looked at the way negotiations are conducted these days? you should look a little more closely at what the unions were and why they were formed.
 If you work for an employer, as opposed to being in your own business, then you should be aware that the pay and conditions of work you enjoy were won for you by the trades unions.
conversely, have you seen the full thrust of the Windsor debacle that is being imposed on our Police? and how much of that "Agreement" was taken from the Windsor plan agreed with Cameron when he was just a whipping boy at a Tory conference. Before you give us the benefit of your vast knowledge regarding industrial relations, a few facts could prove useful in assisting your judgement. Please do not be totally influenced by the right-wing press.
[quote][p][bold]rjsizzler[/bold] wrote: These firefighters should be ashamed of themselves for striking. Disgruntled with cuts they may be, but striking won't bring support from me. Get round the table and have grown up negotiations instead of the usual approach by unions to call or threaten strikes as soon as their members aren't happy.[/p][/quote]I think you are the one to be ashamed. Have you really looked at the way negotiations are conducted these days? you should look a little more closely at what the unions were and why they were formed.  If you work for an employer, as opposed to being in your own business, then you should be aware that the pay and conditions of work you enjoy were won for you by the trades unions. conversely, have you seen the full thrust of the Windsor debacle that is being imposed on our Police? and how much of that "Agreement" was taken from the Windsor plan agreed with Cameron when he was just a whipping boy at a Tory conference. Before you give us the benefit of your vast knowledge regarding industrial relations, a few facts could prove useful in assisting your judgement. Please do not be totally influenced by the right-wing press. Last Poster
  • Score: 0

1:03pm Thu 19 Jul 12

rjsizzler says...

Easy on the patronising.

I've no doubt unions have improved pay and working conditions for people. I repeat my point; striking is a tactic I don't support, and certainly not by our emergency services.
Easy on the patronising. I've no doubt unions have improved pay and working conditions for people. I repeat my point; striking is a tactic I don't support, and certainly not by our emergency services. rjsizzler
  • Score: 0

6:35pm Thu 19 Jul 12

Last Poster says...

I will, if you go easy on the "call or threaten strikes as soon as their members aren't happy" because that is a party line, hardly ever the truth and certainly not where these brave men are concerned.
I would never presume to question your right not to strike, especially if you do not directly benefit from any award won by those honorable men who stand bravely in defence of their livelihood.
I know that for over a hundred years men such as these have fought bravely to remove themselves from the "Crumbs of the table" imposed by their paymasters. On issues such as emergency workers, their pay and conditions should not be called into question, in my opinion.
I will, if you go easy on the "call or threaten strikes as soon as their members aren't happy" because that is a party line, hardly ever the truth and certainly not where these brave men are concerned. I would never presume to question your right not to strike, especially if you do not directly benefit from any award won by those honorable men who stand bravely in defence of their livelihood. I know that for over a hundred years men such as these have fought bravely to remove themselves from the "Crumbs of the table" imposed by their paymasters. On issues such as emergency workers, their pay and conditions should not be called into question, in my opinion. Last Poster
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree