VIDEO: May Day marchers back fire crew strikes

A crowd of May Day marchers cheered fire officers as they went out on strike from Lancaster Fire Station last Saturday.

The officers’ walkout was part of three days of national Fire Brigade Union industrial action from Friday to Sunday over changes to pensions but the local FBU are also concerned about the loss of a whole-time fire crew from 2016.

The Lancaster May Day rally passes along King Street last Saturday.

The Lancaster May Day rally passes along King Street last Saturday.

FBU Lancaster branch members led Lancaster and Morecambe trade unions’ May Day march from Dalton Square through the city followed by a rally at the square for speeches.

Many who joined the event then followed fire officers to the Cable Street station to be there at 2pm when their colleagues walked out on strike.

Branch chair Neil Parkinson addressed the large and supportive crowd assembled outside the station with banner and placards.

He said: “These cuts will result in a slower response to critical incidents.

“The fire authority says the number of incidents has gone down but that’s not the case for critical cases.

“This will mean more danger for everyone in the town and surrounding areas. We need to keep up the pressure to make the fire authority reconsider these changes.”

Eugene Doherty, president of Lancaster and Morecambe TUC said: “ We came down here to show solidarity with the firefighters.

“This is an issue which is of concern to us as it directly affects fellow workers but is also one we should all be concerned about as it affects our safety at home or wherever we are.”

Trade unionists, party members and many concerned about issues including cuts and policy to public services joined the annual march with Baybeat adding a carnival flavour to the event.