No major call-outs in Redbridge during fire strike

A FIRE strike in Redbridge passed without any serious incidents reported, as around 50 of the borough’s firefighters staged an eight hour walkout.

Crews from Ilford, Woodford and Hainault stations joined colleagues across the capital when they downed tools between 10am and 6pm on Saturday, after London Fire Brigade refused to withdraw “sacking notices” that had been sent to staff.

They joined a mass picket line outside Dagenham Fire Station, where AssetCo, a private firm who provided cover during the strike, had a base.

The company could deploy up to 27 fire engines and 162 firefighters to deal with emergency situations.

Despite the low numbers, London Fire Brigade said its contingency plan was successful.

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Around 50 incidents were responded to across the capital.

No serious call-outs were made in Redbridge.

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Brigade management hit out at some union members, who they claim subjected AssetCo workers to “intimidation and harassment” - a claim which union bosses have denied.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “I would rather the FBU had not orchestrated the strike, but the contract, which was of course never designed to fully replicate the service delivered to London, has delivered.

“Despite the mindless actions which posed a real danger to Londoners, the emergency fire crew delivered the plans to keep the capital safe.

However, Londoners should never have been put at risk by the actions of a minority of individuals hell-bent on causing disruption.”

The brigade said it will review how future strikes are managed.

Another walkout is planned for next Monday (November 1).

London Fire Brigade Union is angry about changes to shift patterns and notices that have been sent to staff, stating that contracts will be terminated and fresh ones offered with new terms.

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