But in a political manoeuvere of the most despicable nature, the Fire and Rescue Authority have used the Daily Post to urge strikers to consider safety implications!
In their open letter to uniformed staff, Cllrs Tony Newman (Labour), Eddie Clein (Lib Dem) and Les Byrom (Conservative) write: 'Strike action will put Merseyside people at risk. It will put those who continue to provide fire cover at risk and it will cost firefighters money.
'Government is unlikely to send in the military to provide cover, particularly given the current terrorist threats.
'We have asked the FBU to only take action between 9am and 11am, on week days as this would significantly reduce the risk to everyone.
'There are fewer fire deaths and injuries during that time. It would lower the risk to vulnerable people and commercial properties."
They have also asked the FBU to exempt Southport, Birkenhead and Upton fire stations from any industrial action because of their 'strategic importance'.
By with this letter, the councillors present themeselves as the ones who care about public safety. But the strike is being called to fight plans for massive cuts to the fire service! In the long term, public safety is endangered far more by their cuts than strike action called to prevent it! Since a councillor from each of the three main parties has signed the letter, we can see that they all support the cuts.
The mainstream media is bound to go for the throats of Merseyside FBU if they do strike, since the area would be without cover. But it is important to remember three things. First, they are trying to make sure there will be more fire engines and firefighters in the future. Second, there will only be no cover because the Territorial Army is standing by to go into Afghanistan. Third, part of the reason the government makes these cuts is that they are spending so much on war!