Fire union complains meeting was cancelled

A bus on the BRT route

Work set to start on next stage of ‘congesting-busting’ bus transport scheme in Gosport

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OFFICIALS from the Fire Brigades Union have complained after fire minister and Portsmouth North MP, Penny Mordaunt, told them a meeting had ‘fallen’.

But in a letter responding, Ms Mordaunt said the union’s decision to announce strikes spanning eight days just hours after finalising the meeting showed the FBU had waited to announce the action once the meeting was finalised.

In the letter, she said: ‘This shows very bad faith on your part given that I had already made it very clear that strike action limits both dialogue and options available to me.’

Members will go on strike from Saturday over a pensions dispute with the government.

Andy Dark, FBU assistant general secretary, said: ‘We are absolutely astounded that the minister has written to the union today, less than 24 hours before the talks are due to take place, to suggest that the meeting has ‘fallen’.

‘This is a complete misrepresentation of the fact that the minister has cancelled the meeting.

‘The minister has scuppered an opportunity where there was potential to find a solution that could have meant there would be no need for planned strikes to take place.’