ASLEF response to FBU industrial action

22 October 2010

Firefighters in the London area are taking industrial action starting this Saturday in response to the decision of the commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, Ron Dobson, and fire authority leader Councillor Brian Coleman, to begin the process of sacking over 5,500 operational and non-operational employees over their refusal to agree to detrimental changes to contracts.

The strike that is due to take place on Saturday 23rd October from 10:00 – 18:00 and Monday 1st November from 10:00-18:00 has bought to light safety concerns in relation to London’s rail network.

On behalf of ASLEF members and the public, we have raised these concerns with the Office of Rail Regulation. The safety of our members and the travelling public is our main priority, therefore ASLEF must consider that when the Fire Brigades Union goes on strike;

  • They will only operate from 27 locations instead of London’s 113 fire stations,
  • They will only be using 27 fire engines instead of the normal 169,
  • The replacement fire crews have not been trained in evacuation in case of a train crash
  • The replacement fire crews will not be trained to deal with train derailments
  • There are continual threats to train safety from vandalism, which is well documented in London.
  • The threat of terrorism since 7/7 remains.

We have advised our union representatives that they should ask companies who operate trains in the London area for assurances that they have robust action plans and risk assessments associated with incidents arising when there is no fire authority presence.

Our members have been advised to follow company specific procedures for refusing to work on the grounds of safety, if they are in “serious and imminent danger”.

More recently there have been trains breaking down in tunnels, and passengers having to be evacuated on London Underground and stations being closed due to the on-going RMT/TSSA dispute, making such evacuations more problematic. The public should be able to travel in and around London with no threat to their safety and ASLEF will work to ensure that this isn’t compromised.


* Please note a circular has been sent to all members concerned however if any member of ASLEF needs further information or has any questions they should contact their rep

Management guidance for fire brigade strike

LU Change Assurance Plan

Capital Guard Arrangements

FBU Action Assurance Oct 2010

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