Firefighters urge resistance against government’s Minimum Service Levels Act

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Union launches campaign against minimum service levels

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has initiated a campaign urging fire and rescue service employers across England to stand against the government’s Minimum Service Levels Act.

This new legislation aims to set restrictions on the ability of firefighters and control staff to strike.

The FBU’s campaign involves direct communication from firefighters and the public to employers, advocating for the protection of striking rights by refusing to issue work notices under the act.

In a comprehensive letter to all fire service employers, the FBU expressed concerns that enforcing these work notices could severely harm industrial relations and compromise public safety.

The union has highlighted the fundamental nature of striking as a right and the detrimental impact any limitation could have.

Union’s plea to employers

Matt Wrack, the general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, made a strong appeal to employers: “Firefighters are calling on their employers to stand up for their democratic right to strike by refusing the government’s draconian minimum service levels.

“Fire chiefs and authorities must listen to their workforce and the public.”

The FBU is adamant that fire and rescue services should clearly communicate their refusal to threaten frontline workers with dismissal during strikes.

The union believes that maintaining the ability to strike without severe penalties is crucial for safeguarding the welfare of both the public and firefighters themselves.

Potential impact on public safety

The implications of the Minimum Service Levels Act on public safety are significant.

The FBU argues that the act could irreparably damage the relationship between fire service employers and their employees, potentially leading to reduced effectiveness in responding to emergencies.

The union’s campaign is not just about protecting workers’ rights but also about ensuring that fire and rescue services can continue to operate efficiently and safely.

Matt Wrack further emphasized the union’s position: “The Fire Brigades Union urges all fire and rescue services to make it clear that they will not threaten the frontline with the sack during any period of strike action.”

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