Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt is still sticking to the same position: fire fighters will pay more into their pension, work longer and get less in return. Those who cannot work until 60 risk losing up to half of their pension. Fire fighters have continued their campaign including a lobby of the Commons but no further strikes have been announced. On 11 December parliament will be debating an early day motion sponsored by Ed Miliband calling on the government to scrap the government’s pension proposals. Fire fighters that we have spoken to do not expect it to pass.
We note that both UKIP Councillor Bill Mountford and Labour Candidate Bob Blizzard have visited the picket line. Bob Blizzard is calling on the government to settle the dispute. Unfortunately the Labour Party is committed to the same austerity policy as the present government. Labour can’t have it both ways.
A number of Fire Brigade Union (FBU) members face disciplinary charges because of their union activity. Some FBU regions including London fear that the dispute is being lost and are pressing for a much more hard hitting campaign.