Public is backing battle say striking firefighters
STRIKING firefighters said they had overwhelming support from people in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot during yesterday’s walkout — and added that further action was possible.
Crew levels throughout Mid and West Wales were significantly down on normal between noon and 4pm in a dispute between the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the UK Government over pension changes and fitness-related dismissal fears.
FBU brigade secretary for Mid and West Wales Barrie Davies, who spent most of yesterday at the fire service’s Earlswood training centre, near Jersey Marine, said: “I am very proud of FBU members.
“We had overwhelming support. I have not had one single report from the public who does not agree with what we are doing.
“I also have to thank our management team. They have been very accommodating as well. There is no animosity.”
Mr Davies said firefighters who were members of other unions had manned some pumps yesterday.
The Retained Firefighters Union has a clause in its constitution preventing its members from taking strike action.
Mid and West Wales Fire Service dealt with five road accidents and false alarms in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot between noon and 4pm yesterday.
One crew dealt with an accident on Mumbles Road, at Blackpill. A passerby said: “They towed the car and they made the scene safe.”
Cimla councillor John Warman joined a picket line at Cimla fire station yesterday.
“I was very impressed by the support of drivers going by — they had the hands up and blew their horns,” he said.
Mr Warman said he accepted that other public sector employees had had their pensions reduced, but felt the Government always found money when it wanted to.
Mr Davies meanwhile said further action could be decided upon tonight.