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

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FBU leaders must ask for support now

This is no longer just a dispute between the firefighters and the government but between New Labour and the whole trade union movement. Those are the words of John Edmonds, the general secretary of the GMB union, which has led the campaign against privatisation of public services. He is absolutely right.

John Monks, once a close friend of New Labour, now describes the strike as a “seminal dispute” for the relationship between the New Labour government and the unions. He too is right. Monks is so angered by the government's determination to block any decent pay settlement with the FBU that he has sent an email to all unions urging them to support the firefighters. 

The FBU leaders now have a golden opportunity to respond to these statements by asking for active industrial support from other unions. It is an opening they must grasp with both hands because they are clearly involved in a fight to the finish with the Blair government. 

New Labour wants to defeat the FBU in order to cut existing conditions to shreds through overtime working and the ending of the four-shift system. This will mean job losses and putting the public in greater danger from fire. Other public services would then suffer a similar fate.

The only way to prevent this is to mobilise the trade union movement to defeat the government. FBU leaders have to take Monks and Edmonds at their words. They must immediately ask for supportive industrial action.

The fact that such action is illegal under Tory/New Labour laws should not become an excuse. Unions were not formed to protect the assets from the courts but to defend the interests of workers. If they are not going to be used in support of the firefighters, what use are they to future generations? Let the GMB, the RMT and other unions organise action now - and not sit back and await the outcome of the firefighters' struggle.

Many firefighters have already decided that they will never again pay a penny towards New Labour's coffers through the political levy. The FBU leaders should recognise what their members want and announce they will ballot on disaffiliation. This would give a tremendous boost to the burning question of the day: discussing and building alternatives to New Labour.

Movement for a Socialist Future
November 24, 2002