10 July 2012
Updated: 15 July with address for messages of support
Essex firefighters will strike for 24 hours and march through the town of Chelmsford on Wednesday 18 July in a long-running dispute over cuts to jobs and conditions.
Their strike will begin at 9am across the county, with a march starting at 12 noon from Admirals Park, Chelmsford (opposite the Black Bull on Rainsford Road). They will rally at 1pm at the town’s Central Park.
The Fire Brigades Union members struck for eight hours last week, with an additional one-hour strike at 4am last Saturday.
Support the firefighters
Next week’s strike is a sharp escalation of their action, which has seen action short of a strike for three years as the firesfighters battle to protect jobs, fire engines and their crucial public service.
Essex has already lost 100 full-time and 80 part-time firefighting jobs since 2008 and the FBU has warned that if the latest round of cuts goes ahead, it will mean one in five firefighters’ jobs lost in the past four years.
The Essex fire brigade management are attemting to intimidate striking firefighters. Managers apparently trying to provoke disciplinary breaches were kitted out with video cameras to film pickets last week, while firefighters have also been threatened with action for ‘trespassing’.
They need support from fellow trade unionists and members of the public whose lives will be at risk if the cuts go through.
More strikes are planned for 18 August and 18 October.