Firefighters' dispute: playing with fire

Robert Pyper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The firefighters' strike of autumn and winter 2002–03, the first such action since 1977, had its origins in an abortive series of negotiations which took place between the Fire Brigades Union and the local government employers during the spring and summer of 2002. Once the dispute started, a series of national strikes effectively took one of the emergency services out of normal operation for extended periods of time. The Blair government faced a major crisis with serious implications for public safety and the government's political agenda. Important questions arose concerning the government's capacity to manage the political, administrative and operational aspects of this crisis. The circumstances surrounding the firefighters' dispute are set out, the broad course of events delineated and an analysis is offered of the government's management of the key elements of this affair, with reference to its three-track approach to the management of the crisis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalParliamentary Affairs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2003


  • national strikes
  • emergency services
  • firefighters' strike


Dive into the research topics of 'Firefighters' dispute: playing with fire'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this