Firefighters in England and Wales will take further strike action for five hours on Saturday 19 October in the ongoing dispute over pensions.
The action takes place after firefighters in Scotland voted not to strike for the time being, after the Scottish government offered some concessions. The ballot result is a blow to united action in the face of a common attack and a significant fault line for future negotiations on other matters.
The Scotland result will be used by the SNP to promote its line of partnership working with unions in an independent Scotland — a deliberate attempt to cut across class lines.
The FBU has organised a demonstration in central London on Wednesday 16 October on pensions and against the ongoing cuts to the fire and rescue service. The FBU says 3,600 jobs have been cuts since this government came to power and with more cuts on the way, the service faces devastation.
As well as 10 fire stations in the capital due for closure next year, there are other threats. In Derby, all three fire stations are threatened, which would leave a city of a quarter of a million people with only threadbare fire cover.
The FBU has to fight on the cuts front. It needs to work for solidarity with the rest of the labour movement and forge public support through local activist groups and socialists, who are willing and able to defend fire stations with direct action if necessary.