Campaign launched to reinstate suspended firefighter from Willesden
Colleagues claim mother-of-two is the victim of a ‘spiteful and vindictive’ act
UNION bosses have launched a campaign calling for the reinstatement of a suspended firefighter accused of harassing a strikebreaker.
Sian Griffiths, 50, from Willesden, was escorted from London Fire Brigade’s Southwark training centre last Thursday after the allegations were made against her.
The Fire Brigade Union (FBU) have vowed to fight in Ms Griffiths corner and her female colleagues plan to stage a protest about her treatment outside London Fire Authority meeting which will take place on Thursday.
Ms Griffiths, a mother-of-two, had collected a Queen’s Fire Service Medal for distinguished service in the Queen’s Honours List days before her suspension.
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She has been described as a ‘trailblazer’ after becoming one of Britain’s first firewomen when she joined in 1985 and has been credited with widening the acceptance of female firefighters.
Ian Leahair, FBU’s executive member for London region, said colleagues were ‘outraged’ at the suspension and he will be writing to London’s fire commissioner Ron Dobson calling for her immediate re-instatement.
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He added that many of Ms Griffith’s colleagues believed her suspension was a ‘spiteful and vindictive’ that is linked to a bullying complaint she had lodged against a senior principle officer.
Ms Griffiths currently chairs the FBU’s Women’s Action Committee in London and is due to give a talk at Cricklewood Library in Olive Road, Cricklewood on November 25.
A group of Ms Griffith’s female colleagues plan to stage a lobby of the London Fire Authority meeting on Thursday between 1-2pm.
Ghada Razuki, former firefighter and an ex colleague of Ms Griffiths, one of the organisers of the planned protest, said: “Sian has spent her life campaigning against bullying and harassment at work and has over 25 years of distinguished service, which was recognised by the Queen at Buckingham Palace only days ago.
“This suspension is an insult to Sian and a waste of taxpayer’s money.
“There can be little doubt that this is retaliation for Sian supporting the two eight hour strikes. It can be seen as a direct response to Sian’s refusal to become a compliant manager and her refusal to bully those she has responsibility for.”
A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: “A number of staff have been suspended from duty following evidence of potential acts of gross misconduct.
“Investigations are ongoing and the Brigade cannot comment further at this stage.”