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UK Firefighters' Strike

As of 6pm GMT, the firefighters' union here started a 48 hour strike for the first time in 25 years. They're asking for a 40% pay raise, and the government is only willing to give them a 4% pay raise, with an additional 7% to follow later. The military has taken over firefighting duties, albeit with trashy old vehicles that can only drive at 30mph. A couple of people have already died from fires, though in cases where they probably would've died anyway, even without the strike. I guess I won't even pretend to know enough about this issue to comment on it.

Comments (5)

So I think in the U.S. people like firefighters aren't allowed to strike. I guess that makes sense to me, because it's very important to the community to have firefighters available all the time and striking seems to be much more powerful for firefighters than for other types of workers.

On the other hand, if they can't strike, what recourse do they have? Can anyone think of a good way for firefighters to assert themselves without endangering the community?

That's the question, isn't it? :)

ObNitpick: "the fighterfighter's union"? What is that, the Black Mages?

Anyway, the answer, at least in SF, appears to be "take it to the ballot."

The problem I see with "take it to the ballot" is that, since the firefighters are striking against the gov't, they are in a sense striking against the people in the first place.

That is, the people probably generally care more about not paying more taxes than about any subset of the population. Their only incentive to pay firefighters more is to keep them happy.. but if the firefighters have no recourse if they're unhappy anyway, then what?

[Btw.. typo fixed.]

Maybe my experience is slanted from growing up where I did, but it seems like any firefighter or police-related ballot measure I've seen (and there are a lot, since apparently those are dealt with by the SF Charter, and any modifications to that -have- to go through the voters) has passed with no problems. I mean, really, who wants to vote against firefighters?

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LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

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