Our Say

After G8 and the London bombings - the way forward

London terror attacks condemned

After Live 8:
from pressure to action

The G8 summit and political power

Make the G8 leaders history

A sham election

10 good reasons to boycott May 5

Don't be blackmailed into voting

Reject ‘dependency’ politics

No votes for New Labour!

Parliament seals its own fate

A secret policeman's government

Vote for "none of the above"

How to remember the victims of the tsunami

A state of crisis

New Labour and the big lie

Yasser Arafat - a revolutionary life

After the US election

Blood on New Labour's hands

Butler and weapons of mass deception

With 'leaders' like these, who needs enemies?

How to meet the threat from the right

Barbarians at the gate

Torture, values and lies

The silence of the lambs

War crimes in Iraq

The slaughter in Madrid

The unfinished business of the miners’ strike 1984-85

L’état – c’est New Labour

The death of liberal democracy foretold

Hutton washes the state whiter than white

Top-up fees and the market economy

Our challenge for 2004

New Labour's march to a police state

Bush & Blair - partners in crime

London Region revolts against FBU leaders

Postal workers in the front line

No turning back

Where we go from here

Stop the War Coalition leaders and political fabrication

Regime change begins at home

Blood on New Labour's hands

There's more involved than just Blair

New Labour, lies and spies

Firefighters should reject deal and disown leaders

BECTU vote on New Labour link a step forward

Time runs out for FBU leaders

New Labour's one-party state

The blind alley of crude anti-Americanism

Occupation of Iraq - time to move beyond protest

War is a test for principles

Iraqi defiance shocks and awes

FBU leaders who backed capitulation should resign now

Down with New Labour's war - for regime change in Britain

FBU at war with New Labour

New Labour, not just Blair, is the target

50 years since the death of Stalin - an assessment

FBU finds itself in Precott's trap

War is Peace - Blair's fictitious 'push for peace'

15/2: Global marches put power on the agenda

Crisis of globalisation behind attack on Iraq

Tell it how it is

An injury to one is an injury to all

War plans expose fraudulent 'democracy'

A 'regime change' in Britain is the answer to war on Iraq

FBU needs a new strategy

Challenging New Labour

A moment of truth in the fight against New Labour

Gilchrist says it how it is

Time to defy the anti-union laws in support of the FBU

FBU must ask for solidarity strikes

FBU leaders must ask for support now

New Labour provokes confrontation

Italian police attack No-Global movement

New Labour declares war on FBU

Don't let the FBU fight alone

UN writes a blank cheque for war

Blood on Putin's hands

Unions must support firefighters with action not words

Support the firefighters - defeat New Labour

Bush-Blair war agenda revealed

Seeing through New Labour's weapons of mass deception

The US media and the new garrison state

The BEGINNING of Politics

How technology could
free humanity

'Terminator' engineering: A threat to humanity

The future is socialist

Asylum legislation fuels racist attacks

Road map to the future

E-mail to hear about site changes, placing 'update' in body of message



FBU at war with New Labour

The leaders of the Fire Brigades Union are disappointed and even surprised at the outcome of their long-running negotiations with their local authority employers. They shouldn't be. This outcome was on the cards because the government has made it plain at least since last June, that it does not want a compromise with firefighters.

New Labour's agenda was and remains the destruction of the bargaining power of the FBU and the "modernisation" of the fire service along commercial, cost-driven lines. Every statement by Prescott, Raynsford, Brown and Blair has made this absolutely clear. This is in line with their plans for the whole public sector.

FBU leaders have started and stopped strikes time after time to try and find a negotiated settlement. All to no avail. The government/employers' agenda remains the same: total flexibility, the end of national fire cover standards and absolute power for management. It has declared war on the FBU.

By rejecting this, the FBU disputes the entire economic and political policy of this reactionary, business-driven government. That is why there is no compromise possible. Either the government is defeated or the FBU will be severely weakened.

Under the conditions where New Labour will use the war on Iraq to blackmail firefighters, a further one-day strike will not change the position. The FBU cannot defeat the government and the state on its own. Therefore, the FBU has no choice but to unite its struggle with the anti-war movement. Both struggles have a common ground - against the policy of profits first, people a long way last.

The recalled delegate conference on March 19 should support the executive in rejecting the New Labour/employers' proposals which if accepted will undermine the FBU in a dramatic way.

Firefighters should also call on other unions to support their strikes to prevent the destruction of the FBU. All unions that have pledged backing should be asked publicly to deliver solidarity action by their members, regardless of the anti-union laws.

The conference should condemn New Labour's planned attack on Iraq and call on firefighters to join other trade unionists in strike action against the war. At the same time, the conference should suspend the FBU's payments to New Labour pending a discussion on future political representation.

Such a strategy would remove the danger of the isolation of the FBU and create a platform for discussing not only how to defeat the New Labour government but also where the labour and trade union movement goes from here. That is what the Voices for the Future/Beyond New Labour conference on April 12 will discuss. Register now to participate in this important event. For more details see www.socialistfuture.org.uk/voices.htm

Movement for a Socialist Future
13 March 2003