Fire crews cut strike action

PUBLISHED: 13:02 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 May 2010

FIREFIGHTERS in Comet country staged an eight-hour strike yesterday (Wednesday) in their fight to prevent the closure of two stations and the loss of jobs under proposed cuts by the fire authority. The strike, the Fire Brigades Union s third in the county

FIREFIGHTERS in Comet country staged an eight-hour strike yesterday (Wednesday) in their fight to prevent the closure of two stations and the loss of jobs under proposed cuts by the fire authority.

The strike, the Fire Brigades Union's third in the county during May, had been planned to last 48 hours but the union relented at the last minute after Herts County Council plans to close the retained stations at Radlett and Bovingdon from today with the loss of 23 jobs were put on hold.

"If the threat to close the two stations from June 1 had not been withdrawn the strike would have been for 48 hours," said FBU secretary Andy McLean.

"The council is meeting on Friday to discuss the list of proposals we have given them and hopefully we can resolve this dispute without further strike action.

"The union will meet again at the weekend when any decision on further action will be taken."

The county council, which is the fire authority, is still taking a tough stance with the union and refusing to buckle if there are threats of further industrial action.

County councillor David Lloyd said: "We asked the Fire Brigades Union to suspend all strike action so we could consider their ideas in detail. That seemed reasonable to me.

"You can't negotiate with a gun to your head. Reducing a 48-hour strike to eight hours is still striking. The previous two strikes have passed without incident. But how long will it be before there is a tragedy?

"This strike is unnecessary but so were the other two strikes. Sadly that seems to be the way the FBU prefer to do business."

During the eight-hour strike on Friday there were seven incidents around the county including a tree fire in Royston.

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