Striking fireman sacked for failing to attend work

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A firefighter has been sacked for taking “illegal strike action”.

Bucks Fire and Rescue Service claims the FBU gave “improper notification” to the fire authority of its intention to persuade its members to strike.

The service challenged the legality of the union’s industrial action notice for a four-day strike - and although the national dispute went ahead - all but one firefighter at BFRS chose to work normally.

Following a backlash on social media over the sacking of a striking fireman for failing to attend work, a joint statement from Mark Jones, chief fire officer of Bucks Fire & Rescue Service and chief executive of Bucks & Milton Keynes Fire Authority, was released.

The statement criticises the “incompetence” of the FBU for its part in the firefighter’s dismissal.

It said: “Our actions are being called dictator-like, but all we did was follow the law. We made our staff aware of our view that the action they were being encouraged to take might not be legal - what responsible employer would do less?

“The fact that their union was unwilling or unable to provide sufficient reassurance to them seems to have caused them not to strike.

“We do find it galling that ill-informed commentators now seek to depict this as a managerial pressure tactic when it has clearly been the administrative incompetence of the FBU that has caused the current situation.”

As the Citizen reported this morning, the majority of city firefighters reported for work - despite a planned four-day strike from Halloween.

The statement continued: “We are delighted that crews have chosen to work and will not lose money over this period, and that those we serve and protect received the normal level of fire cover that they pay for.”

Iain Stewart MP for Milton Keynes South said: “While I am aware of the broader issues of the dispute, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on internal matters.

“However, I would urge all parties involved to act in the correct manner and not allow this to become a distraction to the important work firefighters and officers do every day.”

> Read the FBU response on our website: “We will stand by our victimised member”, say Fire Brigades Union