We firemen have a right to strike; LETTER FROM THE PAST.
I WOULD like to thank you on behalf of all firemen for giving our case some room.
You said you supported the firemen's claim, but you urged us to accept ten per cent as the police had done. I remind you that the police settled for ten per cent of PS86 for 40 hours we would received ten per cent of PS65 for 48 hours. At present we are forgetting the difference in hours, 21 a week worse off than the police and as simple arithmetic shows 10 per cent of PS65 is PS6.50 so if we accept the 10 per cent we will be PS23.10 worse off than the police, surely you do not seriously expect firemen to vote for a worsening of conditions in this way? I would also ask where you get the qualification to state what does and what does not make a fireman. I have worked with firemen for eight years and you would go a long way to find the sense of duty that exists in fire stations. Firemen do have a responsibility to the Government and public, a responsibility that we are at present fulfilling but the public and Government as our employers have a responsibility to us to see we receive a decent wage for the job that they are at the moment making no attempt to fulfil. You say no one forced is to become firemen, well no one forced your printers to become printers, but it seems okay if they take industrial action.
Fireman A Keen, White Watch, Oldbury Mail, November 15, 1977