UCATT general secretary bolsters the firefighters' cause while calling for extra vigilance on building sites.
Construction union UCATT this week pledged support for the Fire Brigades Union in its battle with the government for improved pay and conditions.

Firefighters across the country are on an eight-day strike that is due to end tomorrow.

UCATT regional secretaries are arranging solidarity visits to Fire Brigades Union picket lines to demonstrate their support.

UCATT general secretary George Brumwell said it was important that firefighters on picket lines knew that the trade union movement supported their cause.

He said there had been many occasions when UCATT members' lives had depended on the skill and expertise of professional firefighters.

Brumwell said: "UCATT is full square behind the FBU in its struggle for pay and conditions that truly reflect the dangerous work they undertake."

He added that he was dismayed by the government's handling of the dispute. He said: "There is a level of hypocrisy in calling for the employers and FBU to get back around the table, while at the same time the government insists on dictating the end result."

UCATT is full square behind the FBU

George Brumwell, UCATT general secretary

Brumwell said the importance of the firefighters' struggle to the labour movement should not be underestimated as it could prove to be a defining moment in the labour government's term of office.

UCATT also voiced health and safety concerns over the strike and called for extra vigilance on building sites.

The Health and Safety Executive has issued new guidance to the construction industry on safety procedures because of the strike.

Site managers have been warned to consider the implications of, and risks associated with, reduced fire cover and have been urged to put measures in place for incidents.

The guidance says the key issue for site managers is to assess the risk of activities on sites and to identify and implement the necessary measures to eliminate or reduce the risks.