Support the firefighters and the postal workers


FIRE chiefs in Warwickshire are planning to close seven fire stations and axe a third of fire appliances with the loss of one hundred jobs, and no doubt in time the loss of the lives of a number of local people.

The FBU brigade secretary said yesterday that ‘If they go ahead we could see towns and villages being left without any effective emergency rescue cover.’ These cuts could well turn out to be deadly!

So much for the propaganda that under Labour front line services will never be cut!

You could not get more front line than the Fire Brigade. And yet the biggest cuts in the history of the fire brigade are to be imposed in Warwickshire and no doubt throughout the country, and they will have been imposed by the Brown government.

The Labour government however understands that there will be huge resistance, since no firefighter will stand by and watch a potential death trap being created.

This is why the London Fire Authority has already taken out a strike breaking contract with AssetCo.

This company already owns the tenders of the London firefighters through one of the privatisation deals that the government has been pushing through.

However, shutting fire stations up and down the country will be resisted by strikes. Everybody knows that the armed forces are now otherwise engaged and are not available for strike breaking .

So the government and the fire authority are bridging the gap with a private company, whose job is to break strikes.

Not only is the Labour government cutting front line services, it is also organising strike breakers to force through deadly cuts.

Another front line service is the Royal Mail. Its workers are now the object of a government vendetta.

Brown and Mandelson were defeated in their first serious push to part-privatise the industry, so now they are setting out to break the CWU, by using its managers to impose conditions that no workers will tolerate.

Again this is not just Royal Mail, but is the Labour government in action, doing its best to destroy an entire state owned industry and destroy the lives of over 100,000 workers.

And it does not end there. Just a few weeks ago the CWU picketed the head office of Unite to demand that the Unite leaders, Simpson and Woodley, either stop the Royal Mail managers, who are Unite members, from strike breaking against the CWU, or else expel them.

Unite is also organising at AssetCo, the company that is getting ready to strike break against the firefighters.

It is plain that Unite members must tell their leaders that the union cannot turn a blind eye to strike breakers, and cannot tolerate them.

However, what’s good advice for the Unite leadership is also good for the rest of the trade union movement in relation to the Labour government and the absurd position that Labour cuts must be tolerated while Tory cuts are bad.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber in his speech told Congress delegates what they already know about the impact that the crisis and the policies of Labour are having on workers and youth – destroying their lives.

What is required is leadership as to what to do about it. This Barber refuses to give, and is incapable of giving.

The Brown-Mandelson government is a capitalist government that is seeking to be the salvation of the bosses and the bankers, through pauperising the working class and the middle class. It is robbing the poor to keep the rich.

Congress must stand up to the Labour government. Congress must pass an emergency motion that if this attack on the Fire Brigade in Warwickshire, and the Royal Mail, is not halted at once, it will call all workers out alongside the postal workers and firefighters.

The only way to keep the Tories out is to bring down the Brown government and bring in a workers government to carry out socialist policies.