Every single member of the Fire Brigades Union needs to see “Still the Enemy Within” a documentary film about the Miner’s strike. It explains the structured nature of the assault on trade unions in this country and how they were employed in that dispute. If you do not believe that there was and still is a concerted effort by government to undermine trade union activity and remove from you the power of collective action by workers you need to read the Ridley Report produced in 1977.
At the moment I am reading “In the Line of Fire” a book on the history of the FBU. It is interesting to note that shift patterns now being introduced with longer working hours, being attached to stations for days at a time, were fought against after the first world war when firefighters basically lived in servitude at fire stations. Fire brigades also became part of Police forces in some parts of the country which removed the right to strike.
We need to be aware of our past to move forward in the future.
Paul Drinkwater (Chair)