Fire strike averted at 11th hour

By staff

The planned two-day strike action by firefighters in London, set to go ahead this morning, has been called off.

Last-minute negotiations between members of the fire brigade union (FBU) and management from the London Fire Brigade averted the strike, which would have ran from 10:00 GMT this morning until 09:00 GMT on Sunday – covering Bonfire Night.

Matt Wrack, the FBU’s general secretary, said: “We have listened to the concerns about public safety, and we have watched the work of the private contractors who are supposed to protect Londoners with mounting concern.”

The two parties have agreed to another meeting, mediated by an independent panel, on November 16th to attempt to put a final end to the dispute over working hours.

There had been intense concern that the strike, which over 5,000 staff were due to participate in, would put public safety at risk on the busiest night of the year for firefighters.

Fire minister Bob Neill said: “I am glad that sense has prevailed. We have said all along that striking on Bonfire Night was inappropriate.

“I now urge the FBU to go back to the negotiating table and resolve this dispute through reasoned debate.”