T&G warns against Defence Fire Service privatisation

Britain’s biggest union is today launching a campaign to dissuade the Government from privatising the Defence Fire Service.

“The government must not play with fire. The privatisation of Defence Firefighters would be wrong and unnecessary”, warned T&G Deputy General Secretary Jack Dromey.

“Saving the lives of the Armed Forces and fighting fires is a public duty that should not be turned over to private profit”, he added.

Speaking in Plymouth at a press conference this morning, Mr Dromey – the husband of Solicitor General and Labour MP Harriet Harman – will blast the Government’s decision to ignore an alternative internal plan put forward by Defence Firefighters and their managers.

Earlier in March, national officer Chris Caufman wrote to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, asking it to investigate the plan. He claimed that a privatisation would cost taxpayers £10 million.

The Defence Fire Service is responsible for fire fighting on military bases, but its 1,200 officers also frequently assist local civilian forces in emergencies.

A privatisation of the Service would affect these employees, and a further 800 other staff.

“Geoff Hoon has said he has no ideological pre-disposition in favour of the private sector,” Mr Dromey declared.

“He should prove that with a vote of confidence in the public provision of public safety.”