Fire dispute: Strike dates announced

London firefighters announce two strike dates in a dispute over new contracts

LONDON firefighters plan to stage two eight-hour walk-outs on Saturday and November 1 in a row over contracts.

Members of the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) voted by a 79 per cent majority for the action.

Fire chiefs have reassured Newham residents that 999 calls will still be answered during the strikes.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) has hired a contractor to provide contingency cover during industrial disputes and last week withdrew one of the two engines at Stratford fire station as part of a capitalwide sweep of 27 machines that are now being kept at strategic locations in order to answer emergency calls during the strikes.

An LFB spokesman was not able to say where the machines were being held that would serve Newham or how many would be on call.

In the meantime, the spokesman said that it remained “business as usual” despite the removal of the Stratford engine and that East Ham, Plaistow and Silvertown stations still had their full complement of machines and specialist equipment.

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A firefighter from Stratford described the move to take away the appliance as “despicable” and “inflammatory”.