Fire bosses angry at New Years Eve strike

News / Sun 29th Dec 2013 pm31 02:12pm

ESSEX FIRE bosses have accused striking fireman of putting lives at risk if they strike on New Years Eve.

Members of the Fire Brigades’ Union will be striking from 6.30pm until 12.30am on New Year’s Eve.

In Essex striking firefighters have been told they are not welcome back for the rest of the shift and won’t be paid.

It means the service will be working at little over half strength for 15 hours, until 9am on New Year’s Day, instead of the six hours in other areas.

But unlike elsewhere in the country, crews in Essex,won’t be allowed back even if a major incident happens.

Fire chief, David Johnson said: “The taxpayers of Essex foot the bill and I won’t pay firefighters to have a jolly on New Year’s Eve, come back and go to bed for double time and a day off.

“They are being cynical and hypocritical saying I am putting lives in danger by not letting them back when they are the ones going on strike.

“I have spoken to other chief officers who said they would like to do what we are doing but they don’t have the same resilience arrangements.

“If the worst happens and children die it is their making. They are the ones putting lives at risk.”

A spokesman for the union said: “Essex fire chiefs are putting the people and communities of Essex at unnecessarily increased risk.

“This is punishment meted out locally only for Essex firefighters taking part in a short period of national strike action over pensions.

“Nowhere else in the country has made this decision or is putting their communities at increased.”

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