It is based upon the testimonies of FBU representatives and members: control staff,
officers and wholetime and retained firefighters from Scotland, Wales, Northern
Ireland and England. Their accounts capture the lived experience of firefighters in
a changing environment.
A distinctive feature is the way that the dynamics of gender, race, sexuality
and class are woven into the narrative. The book shows how 100 years since its
formation in 1918, the FBU continues to be simultaneously part of the fabric of the
fire and rescue service and a ‘politically committed union’.
'The FBU is a beacon of hope in the labour movement during difficult times. This book shows why it is irreplaceable.’
John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor and MP for Hayes and Harlington
‘A compelling account of the union’s struggles against the pervasive agenda of neoliberalism, marketisation, cuts and austerity.’
Richard Hyman, Emeritus Professor of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics
Table of Contents
1 Introduction: the Fire Brigades Union and the political economy of fire.
2 An industrial union: organisation, activism and education.
3 Pandora’s box: Ken Cameron, the pay formula and the end of industrial
4 Pandora’s box opened: the pay and modernisation dispute 2002-04.
5 Always in dispute: defending local services, national shift patterns and
6 Work longer, pay more, get less: the battle over firefighter pensions.
7 Leading the way: equality and diversity in the fire and rescue service and
the union. 8 Science, standards and self-organisation: FBU safety, health and
environment work since 1945.
9 ‘Beyond the fire station doors’: the labour movement and international solidarity.
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: New Internationalist
Format: 216 x 138mm