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BOOTS AND LEGGINGS

1. Are cuts in the LFB inevitable?


No, nothing is inevitable. These cuts are driven by the Governments austerity programme designed to make us pay with our jobs and services for the deficit caused by the bankers. The Government found the money to cut the top rate of tax, showing that funding is determined by political priorities. Only the pressure of a concerted campaign has any chance of changing those priorities.

what you can do

4. The Brigade claim that attendance times can be maintained without the threatened pumps and stations, is this true?
No. Attendance times have increased over previous years and these cuts will mean appliances having to travel greater distances across London to reach incidents. This has serious implications for firefighter and public safety.

2. Should the FBU fi ght to defend fi re cover or should it be left to the public?
We need a public and an industrial campaign, but in order to be effective the FBU needs to be at the heart of both. A public campaign in Clapham and Southwark has been started by firefighters and is now being developed with public support. The more people we can pull on board the stronger our campaign will become. If we do take industrial action to defend our service, the stronger the public campaign the stronger the support for our action will be.

5. W hy should we fi ght to defend jobs when the Brigade states that there will be no compulsory redundancies?
Redundancies of any kind means less firefighters, less appliances, less resilience and increased dangers for the public and firefighters alike. Its not a question of voluntary or compulsory redundancies it is a question of defending our service and safety.

6. Weve tak en industrial action in the past and still ended up mak ing concessions?
If we dont fight, these cuts will be made and our lack of action will only invite further attacks. It is only by fighting back that we can bring any pressure to bear on the employers and give ourselves the opportunity to shape the outcome. The question is what kind of fight we need to win. Too often in the past our union has accepted compromise when more could have been achieved. To save our jobs and service we need to raise the question of industrial action, but if we do take industrial action we must demand our union leaders fight in earnest. Too often action is called off and our fight is undermined.

3. Emergency calls have gone down; do we still need the threatened pumps and stations?
Its true that emergency calls have gone down, but that in itself is not a reason to cut our service. Part of the reduction in calls is because of the CFS work being done by us. Cutting stations and personnel could reduce the amount of CFS being completed undermining public safety. Moreover, these cuts will undermine resilience and the Brigades overall capability to respond to multiple and major incidents like the 7/7 bombings and the riots.

BOOTS AND LEGGINGS

contact: bootsandleggings@gmail.com

BOOTS AND LEGGINGS

what you can do

Whether youre at an affected station or not, we can all become involved in the campaign to defend our service.
l Affected stations should organise days of action building public support outside stations or in town centres. Giving out leaflets and asking people to sign our petitions will help us explain to the public how the cuts will affect them and provides an opportunity to ask people to become involved. If you are not at an affected station you can still help by attending these days of action. Dont wait to be asked contact affected stations and offer your help unity is strength. l Contact the local trades council, MPs, councillors, tenants groups and local businesses, ask them to help our campaign in any way they can. MPs and councillors have political influence, trades councils and tenant groups can mobilise their members

in support of us and local businesses may put posters up in their premises supporting us or donate materials for our campaign. l Contact the local press and let them know what we are doing. Caution: unless youre an FBU rep do not give your name, there are no restrictions on FBU reps so long as they speak in that capacity and there is nothing wrong with anyone telling the press about our planned activities. Press reports will help to bring our campaign to an even bigger audience. l Call on our union leaders to build the campaign. The January 21st lobby outside Union Street HQ is a start, but we need the union to organise London wide mass meetings, branch meetings, posters, leaflets and other campaign materials like stickers etc explaining the cuts and why we oppose them to the public and firefighters alike.

About BOOTS AND LEG G ING S


This Q&A sheet is produced by London FBU members and is backed officially by Southwark and Clapham FBU branches. We would like you to pass it around at work and would welcome your feedback e.g. was this publication useful, do you agree or disagree with the content, should we produce more and if so how can we make it better and what other subjects should we tackle etc. Email feedback to: bootsandleggings@gmail.com Look forward to hearing from you.

BOOTS AND LEGGINGS

contact: bootsandleggings@gmail.com

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