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FIREFIGHTERS have called for “direct action” against construction firms and companies that sell combustible cladding.
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack criticised politicians for “endlessly” delaying investigations into Grenfell, telling delegates at the union’s Blackpool conference: “We need to point the finger where it belongs – at the Westminster politicians who have overseen decades of deregulation that have created the conditions that has allowed Grenfell to happen.
“We need to remind politicians and the public that the people who lived in Grenfell tower were not responsible for what happened.
“The firefighters who attended the fire were not responsible for what happened.
“We need to call the managers and the owners of the building to account.
“We want to make sure those construction firms and their owners who did the work at Grenfell tower, those who sold and manufactured and installed the cladding, and the rest of the refurbishment, they need to face justice for their part in this tragedy.
“There’s firms who are still selling this stuff, they’re still making huge profits out of flammable cladding, they’re working through that inquiry to make sure they won’t get questioned.
“We need to start thinking about taking direct action against those firms.
“We should be picketing the cladding manufacturers, and pointing the finger at the people who are really behind the tragedy at Grenfell.
“We need to ensure that those who died at Grenfell did not die in vain.”
London delegate Steve White praised the union for ensuring that firefighters who answered police inquiries had formal union representation, saying: “Lots of questions are being aimed at firefighters.
“In that two-year period, we’re seeing no questions aimed towards the people responsible for putting flammable material on a high-rise residential building, or the people who created the climate to make that happen.
“We’re looking after members with 50 injuries, 30 psychological issues, 400 near misses.
“The mental health impact on our members is just as significant as it was then.”
Mr White reminded delegates that one in three Grenfell residents are still displaced, and that an estimated 20,000 people across the country are still living in high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding on the outside.
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