the independent pay review instead of striking, local government minister
Nick Raynsford said this morning.
Four's Today programme. 'This strike is totally unnecessary. There is an
alternative mechanism already in place to resolve it - an independent review
which is looking into all the issues relating to firefighters' pay and the
organisation of the fire service.
'It is simply not justified to put people's lives at risk by taking strike
action when there is this alternative in place'.
Mr Raysnford acknowledged the firefighters have public support. 'I too
myself have the greatest of sympathy for firefighters and believe that they
should have a fair pay deal', he said. 'But the 40 per cent claim is simply
Some deep-level London underground stations may have to close for safety
reasons if the strike goes ahead, but otherwise there is no reason why
underground, rail and Channel tunnel services should be affected, he said.
There is already a TUC code of practice by which public services agree to
end any industrial action in the event of a major disaster. 'The TUC general
council is meeting tomorrow. I hope Andy Gilchrist will be able to confirm
to the TUC that his union will act in conformity with that code', the