Tower Hamlets firefighters to strike on Bonfire Night

PUBLISHED: 18:28 26 October 2010 | UPDATED: 14:52 27 October 2010

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members protest outside Poplar fire station in East India Dock Road on October 23

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members protest outside Poplar fire station in East India Dock Road on October 23

Carmen Valino

FIREFIGHTERS in Tower Hamlets will hold a 47-hour strike from November 5, one of the busiest nights of the year for the London Fire Brigade.

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members from six stations in the borough will join 5600 firefighters across the capital in walking out on November 5 at 10am and will remain on strike until November 7 at 9am.

That is despite the fireworks and bonfire festivities taking place throughout Tower Hamlets, which is traditionally the busiest of the London boroughs, in terms of fire service call-outs, at that time of year.

FBU members will also hold an eight-hour strike on November 1 over an ongoing dispute with London Fire Brigade (LFB) bosses about proposed changes to shift patterns.

Matt Wrack, the FBU general secretary, said: “We do not want to take this action but we have no choice.

“The alternative is to allow London’s firefighters to become doormats for their employers to walk on.

“The long term safety of Londoners depends on a well-trained, self-confident firefighting force.”

London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority chairman, Brian Coleman said: “The FBU have placed firefighters in a terrible position.

“We had asked for a meeting with national negotiators on the 5 November, and the union have responded with a strike.

“The message to the FBU is short and simple. Call the strike off and talk.”

A council spokeswoman said their own bonfire night event on November 7 would not be affected by the walk-out.

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