Firefighters' Strike - What do you think? - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-28-2002, 04:23 PM   #1
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Firefighters' Strike - What do you think?

Its really so hard to know who to believe in this whole affair. I think the position most people are taking seems to be somewhere in between the views of the union and the government.

Really it is going to have to end somehow, and compromise is obviously the way to go. Firefighters are NOT going to get a 40% pay increase, and not all of the Bain recommendations can be put into place without putting lives at risk. It seems that a 16% payrise would be the basis for a deal, but the Government say 14% of this has to come from modernisation, so overtime/jobs cuts seem to be the Labour party line.

Channel 4 news did the sums the other night and showed that first of all, modernisation will cost money to implement, and in the short term, not many savings are likely to be gained from it, and in the medium term not enough to fund the sort of rise the firefighters are after.

But surely we can find some sort of deal here, couldnt the firefighters be trained to use defibrillators, as it has been proven they could save lives. No, we dont want them to replace the ambulance service, but if they cant get there in time the firefighters could still help out. Blair seems to see the retirement of older firefighters as the opportunity to cut some jobs, I'm not an expert on this really, I suppose with reorganisation of shifts it could work.
What the government really need to dois offer the unions some sort of a carrot, a bigger chunk of a government-funded pay increase to pave the way, bundled with appropriate "modernisation" - the new useless buzzword of the day.

It seems ridiculous that the Govt. have set aside £1billion for a possible war for Iraq. Couldnt we use that money to give our firefighters, nurses and teachers a decent wage instead of fighting a ridiculous and thoroughly pointless war, that no-one except Bush really wants?
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Old 11-28-2002, 06:02 PM   #2
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The entire strike is the government's own fault, largely due to Prescott's gigantic incompetence, and the government's policies on the issue.

Primarily, I don't usually approve of industrial action; just because Unions strike does NOT mean it is right automatically. I am all for worker's rights, but I am not for outright human selfishness, hence I judge each situation differently. I DO support the Firemen's strike, but not the strikes from the London Underground.

In this case, I support the Firemen's industrial action 100%, and why not? You have a government here, a supposedly LABOUR government, that is here to protect the rights of workers. You have workers here who are having to moonlight in order to support their families, having to take on second jobs and merely SURVIVING, when they should be getting paid higher and fairer wages. In a society where we pay fashion-conscious idiots millions of pounds to kick a ball into a goal, I think we can afford something FAIR for peope who save our lives. NOT set aside a ridiculous sum of money for someone else's war and start using the old catch-phrase 'we must modernise'. What complete and utter nonsensical rot - I don't see the government telling the troops in the Middle East to 'modernise', or the Prime Minister telling himself and his ministers to 'modernise', even though he may give himself a 40% pay rise. How generous.

This is complete folly. I blame my government completely for this, and I stand by the Firemen's decision to strike.

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Old 11-29-2002, 01:18 PM   #3
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You all get really into this- im giving a tiny answer

I know they want more money but the are putting ppls lives in danger- and there are other ways of getting their point accross



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Old 11-29-2002, 05:04 PM   #4
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Sorry for my American ignorance, but are the firefighters all going on strike at once? Meaning no one is around to put out a fire? Yeah, that's not cool.

At the same time, if firefighters ask for additional funds, they should get them. After Sept. 11, I realized how important my firefighters were and now that they are going on strike in NYC -- at least those who are off duty are attending rallies to support a new contract -- I support them. The city is threatening to close the firehouse in my neighborhood that has been there for 100 years and then not pay relocated firefighters more money. Not cool in my book.
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Old 11-29-2002, 08:04 PM   #5
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Yep pretty much, most Firefighters belong to the main union the FBU, though a few who arent union members have broken the picket and gone to work, but the overwhelming majority are on strike.

Having said that, the country isnt completely unprotected. The army are operating a makeshift service, but with of course vastly fewer numbers, much older equipment (specifically the "Green Godesses" - c.50 yr old engines) than usual and obviously they arent nearly as highly trained to deal with fires, accidents etc.

The current strike end at 9am tomorrow (Saturday) but another 8 day strike seems set to go ahead on Wednesday as no deal is in sight.

Some people seem to think its irresponsible of the firefighters to strike, but its the only way they're going to get noticed and their demands even taken into account. Would you risk your life for around £21,000 (about US$32,000) a year?

Unfortunately it seems in this country that the ones who deserve the high wages; nurses, teacher, firefighters, are the ones who get the lowest. They seem to be expected to put up with low pay because of some sort of national pride, or sense of importance, but surely their importance shows how much they are needed and why they should be valued more.
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Old 11-29-2002, 08:08 PM   #6
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The argument that it isn't fair on the firemen's part to strike because it put people's lives at risk is not really a valid one. People say that 'you can't put a price on a person's life', but thats the exact point; apparently you can.

Emotional and moral blackmail should not prevent the firemen from seeking what they deserve. IT doesnt stop anyone else.

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