Thursday, November 18, 2010

FBU Defends Sian Griffiths

Last week was a big week for London fire-fighter Sian Griffiths. First she collected a medal from the Queen for "Distinguished Service" and then two days later she was suspended by the Fire Service for her part in the FBU strike.

The heat around the fire-fighters' has been considerable. With picket line violence seeing managers arrested and pickets hospitalised, with the media running stories about fire-fighters refusing to do their duty during the 7/7 terror attacks (stories that would be unthinkable about paramedics, or members of the public) and now the apparent willingness to target union activists.

Even as talks have started the management are clearly prepared to keep playing hard ball and claim they have suspended a number of fire-fighters. Griffiths chairs the FBU's Women's Action Committee in London and was one of the very first female firefighters recruited in the capital.

Yesterday the FBU held a well attended rally to defend the service from job cuts, loss of appliances and proposed changes in contracts. Their campaign to have Griffiths re-instated is just as import because it's bound up in that movement to defend services, which relies on having a strong union and confident members.

The FBU state that "Female colleagues will be staging a lobby of the London Fire Authority meeting between 1-2pm on Thursday November 18" and I for one wish them good luck.

No comments: