UK firefighters agree to more talks
LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Britain's firefighters, preparing
to stage more national strikes later this month, said they would
hold further talks with employers on Tuesday to try to resolve a
long-running and bitter dispute over pay.
The Fire Brigades Union said it would attend talks at the
conciliation service ACAS but was not optimistic there would be
"We are planning talks with them (the employers) but our
position has not changed," an FBU spokesman told Reuters.
The Fire Brigade Union last week called fresh strikes for
January and February after the government ruled out an improved
The union is claiming a 40 percent wage rise against a
government offer of between four and seven percent linked to
what it calls a modernisation of the service.
However, the FBU says the planned reforms would lead to
widespread job cuts and has dismissed the government's review of
the fire service as "insulting."
Union leader Andy Gilchrist had said on Sunday there would
be "no point" attending Tuesday's meeting unless bosses were
prepared to negotiate.
"No firefighter wants to be on strike. But we can't go into
a process which says 'Sit down here, accept four percent, and,
by the way, accept everything on our agenda'," he said.
Chairman of the employers' body, the Local Government
Association, Sir Jeremy Beecham, indicated there was still room
He ruled out compulsory redundancies and hinted that more
money could be found. He also insisted no formal offer had yet
been made to firefighters.
But Gilchrist said the union had been presented with
"non-negotiable" proposals which amounted to an 11 percent pay
rise over two years with the loss of 4,500 jobs and the closure
of 150 fire stations.
The firefighters launched their first national strike in 25
years in November last year and staged an eight-day walkout
later that month, when cover was provided by the military.
If a breakthrough is not made in the dispute before January
21 -- the date of the first planned 24-hour strike -- armed
forces personnel will once again roll out their ageing Green
Goddess appliances to provide emergency cover.
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Thread: UK FFs to talk
01-14-2003, 11:28 AM #1
UK FFs to talkProudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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01-29-2003, 08:35 PM #2
What is the status of this situation?
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