Since our fringe meeting at Labour Party conference last September, which was addressed by Fire Brigades Union General Secretary Matt Wrack and North West regional Secretary Mark Rowe, we have been cooperating closely with activists in the FBU on the “Free Our Unions” campaign.
Recently Eastern region FBU voted to back the Free Our Unions statement – the second FBU region to do so, after West Mids – and purchase 200 copies of The Clarion‘s pamphlet. These two regions have also arranged to raise the campaign at FBU national conference in May. On 21 January our editor Sacha Ismail attended the Eastern regional committee of firefighter and control representatives from across six counties, gave a presentation and discussed the issues and the campaign with the FBU comrades.
Firefighter and FBU regional secretary Riccardo La Torre (above, checked shirt) said:
“In an industry that has faced over a decade of austerity and cuts, firefighters and fire control staff understand all to well the shackles that the anti-union laws place on us, as workers fighting to defend our jobs and the vital life-saving service we provide to the public. The FBU is the only organisation defending the fire service from savage, life-threatening cuts, and these laws are designed to stop us from doing so effectively. Since the 1980s governments and have been putting a crop of legislation in place to stop workers from organising and fighting back.
“It’s time for the Labour Party to act as the voice of workers and, together with the trade union movement, send a clear message. Enough is enough – we must call unapologetically for the repeal of all anti-trade union laws.”
We were also invited back to send a speaker to national FBU reps training two days later (picture below – showing solidarity with the UVW/PCS outsourced workers’ strike in Whitehall).
Please invite us to send a speaker to your union branch or organisation, buy the pamphlet and get involved with the campaign.
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