Grenfell Tower disaster at British trade union congress

British TUC General Secretary FRANCES O’GRADY (centre) yesterday welcoming six emergency workers to Congress who had been involved in the Manchester, Westminster and Finsbury Park attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire

From daily News Line in Britain:

Tuesday, 12 September 2017


THE TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady yesterday welcomed six emergency workers to Congress who had been involved in the Manchester, Westminster and Finsbury Park attacks and the Grenfell fire.

Three of the workers addressed congress. Jo, a nurse at Stockport Hospital, paid tribute to fellow workers who came into work despite being off after the Manchester bombing.

Unite member Catherine, a clinical psychologist, said: ‘The morning after the Manchester attack I gave support to patients.’

Dave Wallman, from Battersea Fire Station, said: ‘I can see the images of that fire today. I saw the look on the faces of firefighters. I’ve never seen such looks.’

Delegates went on to debate and pass unanimously Motion 4 Grenfell Tower Fire.

This calls for a campaign to ‘ensure the public inquiry addresses the concerns of residents, survivors and those workers who responded to the fire’ to ‘highlight the impact of privatisation, casualisation and deregulation on public safety’ to ‘end and reverse the cuts to fire and rescue services and to local government’ and to ‘build a movement of tenants in the public and private sector and of owner occupiers for the provision of decent and safe housing for all.’

Moving the motion, FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack said: ‘14th June 2017 should be marked in history. It was a date of nightmare and destruction.

‘If you visit Grenfell there is tension and anger in the area. That anger is right. We stand side by side with the victims of Grenfell. We will leave no stone unturned to get to the truth of what and why this happened. Justice for Grenfell!’ Seconding the motion, Jim Kelly of Unite said: ‘We’ve seen deregulation increasing the coffers of the construction industry bosses, most of whom are donors to the Tory Party. Two weeks after Grenfell Haringey Council privatised its housing stock to spivs and speculators.’ He concluded by calling for the election of a Labour government ‘that will end deregulation and privatisation.’

Zita Holbourne, PCS equalities spokesperson, said: ‘Grenfell residents were not just ignored, they were threatened with legal action. A disproportionate number of black families, children and disabled people lived on the top floors.’ She slammed the disparity between rich and poor in the borough, saying: ‘It’s disgraceful that the council have failed to rehouse 138 who were displaced by the fire. The community has repeatedly raised concerns that the scope of the inquiry is not wide enough. To know the full impact, there must be an immigration amnesty.’

She concluded: ‘The government need to stop the cuts. There must never be another Grenfell.’

Melissa Hind, NEU Kensington and Chelsea Branch, said: ‘Schools and nurseries were closed because of the fire, students still haven’t got back to school. Some were moved out again because there was a gas leak. All those affected by the Grenfell fire will suffer for years. The government must not be allowed to sweep this under the carpet and none of this must be allowed to happen again.’

Fliss Premru, TSSA, said: ‘The tragic and shaming Grenfell fire draws a line for deregulation and social cleansing. We must roll back marketisation and restart council house building. We must stop privatisation. We demand justice for Grenfell and social justice for all.’

2 thoughts on “Grenfell Tower disaster at British trade union congress

  1. Wednesday 13th September 2017

    by Felicity Collier

    A COMMUNITY justice group filed an urgent application for a judicial review of the official Grenfell fire inquiry yesterday.

    BME Lawyers 4 Grenfell, which is made up of black minority ethnic legal specialists, community groups and survivors, has serious concerns that full justice will not be achieved for victims and survivors of the fire, their families and local residents.

    The group’s action follows repeated pleas from survivors of the London tower-block fire and families of the deceased for the inquiry’s terms of reference to be widened.

    There have also been numerous calls for the appointment of a diverse panel — reflecting the ethnicity and faiths of the survivors — to assist the inquiry to ensure it is fully addresses issues surrounding race and austerity as well as issues around the fire and its aftermath.

    Prime Minister Theresa May has failed to address these concerns, keep her promise of a proper public consultation on the inquiry’s parameters or even acknowledge correspondence, the group said.

    Association of Muslim Lawyers president and BME Lawyers 4 Grenfell co-founder Ismet Rawat said: “The government’s response so far to a human tragedy of such magnitude on UK soil has been inept to say the least and has inevitably added to the trauma and distress of individuals and the wider community.

    “The fire in the Grenfell tower block is one of the worst collective losses of life seen in UK peacetime and yet, three months later, we still have survivors displaced and homeless, with countless others psychologically scarred and under-supported by local authorities.

    “It is therefore critical that the inquiry is established robustly.”


  2. Pingback: British Grenfell Tower disaster and poetry | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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