FIREFIGHTERS vowed yesterday to vote Labour in an “absolutely crucial” general election to protect life-saving services and their working rights.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s snap election on June 8 is a “cynical” attempt to increase the Tory majority in Parliament, Fire Brigades Union (FBU) delegates gathered at their annual conference in Blackpool heard.
FBU leader Matt Wrack slammed the move as “utter hypocrisy” after the Tories’ Con-Dem government introduced fixed-term parliaments to prevent parties taking political advantage through snap general elections.
He accused the Tories of calling the election in an attempt to continue their “unfinished” business of austerity including attacks to working rights and mass privatisation.
Mr Wrack pointed out that under the Tories, firefighters have suffered at least £2,000 a year in real-terms pay cuts due to the government’s 1 per cent wage cap.
Firefighters are also being forced to work longer for less with attacks on their pensions, conference heard.
And the public is being put at ever greater risk with “unprecedented” cuts to services resulting in 10,000 fewer firefighters to save them, Mr Wrack warned.
He called the general election a “momentous” opportunity to elect a Labour Party “led by very different people,” reminding delegates that the union reaffiliated to Labour in 2015 in recognition of this change.