Letters: Pete Greeves, November 20, 2015

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members from Corby station go on strike for the fourth time in a row over pensions. ENGNNL00120131113132430
Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members from Corby station go on strike for the fourth time in a row over pensions. ENGNNL00120131113132430
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I don’t suppose anyone noticed but the Trade Union Bill had its third and final hearing recently in Parliament and it was voted through by the Tory majority – this includes Henry Bellingham, even though, when we met with him in Parliament,

He told us he had concerns over some parts of the Bill. “That’s no bad thing,” and, “the Unions have always had it their own way,” I hear you say – however what I don’t think I will hear anyone say is, “What about all the good stuff the unions did”. Remember a decent day’s wage for day’s work, equal pay for women, pensions, health and safety in the workplace, holiday pay, sick pay etc etc and the public services we all deserve.

Well, this is now going to change. Over the next four years you will see the Tory Government decimate the public sector with cuts (because the deficit is now our fault and the banks crashing has been written out of history) and then they will sell it off to the private sector. This means a slow process of less and less police, nurses, firefighter, carers, teachers the list is endless of those who you rely on, those who you turn to in your hour of need. The unions have always been able to fight cuts, ultimately with our right to withdraw our labour, more commonly known as striking. With the implementation of this bill it will virtually be impossible for any union to strike, so who will fight for the services you need?

To put it into perspective the fire service in Norfolk faces massive cuts.

It looks like our new Chief Fire Officer feels it’s more important for Norfolk to have a dive team than have fire engines and firefighters.

He says we need to diversify into other activities but at what cost? What can the firefighter do about this when the bill comes into being? Probably nothing, the Tories will do what Maggie never could and render the unions toothless.

Pete Greeves

FBU Brigade Chair