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Support our Firefighters!

24/12/2013
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Solidarity with Firefighters’ strikes

7pm – midnight Tuesday 24 December 2013

6.30pm – 12.30am Tuesday 31 December 2013

6.30am – 8.30am Friday 3 January 2014

Support FBU pickets at firestations across Sussex

Defend Firefighters against “No Job, No Pension

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“Firefighters on duty over the festive period don’t have much to celebrate this year and tonight’s strikes will remind the government of the service we provide 24 hour a day, 365 days a year, every year of our careers.  Nobody wants these strikes but firefighters remain extremely angry over the prospect of being priced out of their pensions and facing the sack owing to the government’s ludicrous pretence that men and women of 60 can meet the same fitness standards as 20 year olds.”  Matt Wrack, FBU General Secretary

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The storms that have swept the UK since Monday 23 December have highlighted the essential work that firefighters do.  West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said it had received between 500 and 600 emergency calls overnight on 23 December with rescue crews mobilised to between 300 and 400 incidents.  East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services also reported one of its busiest nights ever.   Firefighters are deeply committed to their local communities and do not take strike action lightly.  “People do not become firefighters to become rich…(but) to serve the public, to put other people first, to risk their lives to save others”  Simon Herbert, Chair, East Sussex FBU.

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The united and resolute attitude of firefighters has forced Fire Minister Brandon Lewis to talk to the FBU for the first time in two months but, for an hour or so on Christmas Eve, is this just posturing ahead of this next round of strikes?  Certainly nothing Lewis has done so far has appeared sincere except his support for privatisation of the Fire Service – and an attack on workers’ pensions is always the first move when the government prepares to sell-off a public asset.  Firefighters are prepared for a long and difficult campaign, if necessary, as Matt Wrack explains in this short video.  The Coalition needs to take firefighters’ issues seriously and to settle this dispute by serious negotiations, not media moves.

Meanwhile Coalition cuts mean East Sussex Fire Authority is still working on its budget to slash spending by almost a fifth over five years.  We urge you to contact East Sussex Fire Authority Members to register your opposition to these cuts, demand they do the same, and insist that all future discussions are held in public.  Also contact your local councillors with the same message, even if your councillors are not members of the Fire Authority.  These councillors are elected to represent the people of Sussex.  Let’s make sure they do!  We need to defend our Fire & Rescue Services from further cuts.

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Please support firefighters’ picket lines when they strike again on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and on the morning of Friday 3 January 2014Using these handy FBU templates, please also write to your MP to object to these changes.  The Fire Service is facing huge cuts under the Coalition and Tory Fire Minister Brandon Lewis is pushing a privatisation agenda.  We must stand together with firefighters now to defend our Fire Service. 

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