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Firefighters in Union Street vuvuzela protest outside brigade HQ

London SE1 website team

Union Street was filled with the sound of vuvuzelas and whistles on Thursday lunchtime as members of the Fire Brigades' Union held a protest outside a meeting of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA).

Firefighters in Union Street vuvuzela protest outside brigade HQ
Firefighters in Union Street vuvuzela protest outside brigade HQ
Darren Johnson AM
Darren Johnson AM

The union is protesting against plans by the Conservative-controlled fire authority to impose a new 12-hour shift pattern.

The day shift currently starts at 9am and runs until 6pm (9 hours) with a night shift starting at 6pm and running until 9am (15 hours).

LFEPA claims that the change will provide more time for operational training, more time for community safety and engagement and more flexible working opportunities.

"We know that the proposed 12-hours-on 12-hours-off shift patterns are a prelude to cutting nighttime fire cover," said FBU general secretary Matt Wrack.

The demonstration outside the London Fire Brigade HQ on Union Street was addressed by speakers including Green Party London Assembly member Darren Johnson, who also serves on the fire authority.

There was a heavy police presence at the demonstration and community wardens flagged down motorists to warn them to drive slowly past the protest.

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