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Strike negotiations loom as firefighters await ballot result

Firefighters voting on possible walkouts over a dispute about working hours

14 October 2010

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) is preparing for strike negotiations as it awaits the results of a ballot on proposed walkouts.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) based in the capital have been voting on whether to take part in industrial action over a dispute about working hours.

The LFB has arranged a contingency plan for the potential strikes by paying a private firm to provide 700 civilians who will operate 27 fire engines, around a fifth of the usual fleet of 169 vehicles.

London fire commissioner Ron Dobson said: "This is not a decision that has been taken lightly and even at this late stage I am urging firefighters to consider the effects strike action might have.

"London's fire authority has a legal duty to provide a fire and rescue service at all times, including during a strike. We are no longer able to turn to the military as we did during the last strike in 2002/3." 

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