Firefighters in the West Midlands have voted by 90%, on a turn out of 82%, for strikes over the creation of a two-tier workforce.
Contracts introduced by the West Midlands Fire Authority mean new firefighters entering the service will have to take on work outside the currently agreed role of a firefighter. The new contracts would allow the employer to unilaterally change the work of firefighters at any time, breaching nationally negotiated agreements with the union, the FBU.
There has also been growing tensions between FBU members and the fire authority over the imposition of non-fire service work on current fire fighters, dictatorial management practices and interference with day to day trade union activities. Union reps have reportedly been threatened with discipline for conducting health and safety investigations as they are entitled to do so under the law.
As Solidarity went to press strike dates were yet to be announced.