The management of the London Fire Brigade have accepted all the recommendations of the independent arbitration panel which met to bring the fire dispute to an end. The leadership of the Fire Brigade Union have attempted to ignore the mediation results and restart negotiations, five years after this whole episode started and against the wishes of their own members who voted 2,670 to 510 to accept the recommendations.
The unwillingness of the FBU’s bosses to accept the independent decision means that the Fire Brigade management will now impose the panel’s recommendations and change firefighters’ contracts unilaterally. It is unfortunate that after agreeing to independent arbitration the FBU leadership have walked away from the deal that was proposed as it now means that firefighters will be sacked and the re-employed on the new contracts. This could easily have been avoided if the FBU’s leadership had listened to their own members.