The Fire Brigades Union has criticised the government for its failure to appoint the union-nominated candidate to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) board, the watchdog for workersâ€™ safety and health in Britain.
The board has throughout its 40-year existence always had three trade union representatives. Earlier this year there was a vacancy for one of those seats. The TUC supported Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU. Instead, the government appointed someone else without any meaningful consultation with the TUC or any union bodies.Â They hand-picked a retired union general secretary who had not been nominated by a single union (even his own previous union).
Alan McLean, FBU president said: â€œThe Fire Brigades Union were very pleased that our general secretary, Matt Wrack was asked to be the TUC nominee for the board of the HSE. Our members work in an industry which deals with safety issues every day and Matt could have brought that experience to the HSE for the benefit of all workers.
â€œThe decision of the government not to appoint him suggests a serious weakening of any commitment to health and safety. Firefighters know very well that health and safety is not a matter for silly press stories – it is frequently a matter of life and death. The governmentâ€™s decision further threatens the future of health and safety provision for workers in the UK.â€