London firefighters row over shift patterns resolved

  • Published

A row between firefighters and London Fire Brigade over duty hours has been resolved with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) accepting a new shift pattern.

Members of the FBU voted in favour of the 10.5-hour day shifts and 13.5-hour night shifts instead of the current nine-hour days and 15-hour nights.

The FBU said it was pleased at the "sensible compromise".

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said the the ballot would bring the "long-standing dispute to an end".

Since October, about 5,500 firefighters staged two eight-hour strikes and called off plans to walk-out on the Bonfire Night in November at the last minute.

Union members backed the new shift pattern by 2,670 votes to 510.

Ian Lehair, the FBU's executive member for London, said: "This was always our objective. I wish it could have been achieved without the foolishly dramatic threat to sack all London firefighters, which led to two one-day strikes."

Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, Councillor Brian Coleman, said the ballot demonstrated that the "strikes were completely unnecessary and should never have happened in the first place".

London Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson, added that he was "really pleased with the outcome of the ballot".

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