deputy prime minister’s plans to impose a pay deal on the UK’s firefighters may
breach human rights laws, according to the
lawyers said the Fire Services Bill – which will allow John Prescott the power
to enforce a pay settlement – may break the European and International statute
by infringing workers’ rights to free collective bargaining.
is expected to claim the Bill does not breach human rights as firefighters
perform an essential duty and negotiations have failed to reach a deal.
cannot be allowed to continue,” he told MPs. “After 10 months, firefighting
duties are having a progressively detrimental affect on our troops in Iraq and
our capacity to fulfil a wide range of military duties.”