‘Sleepwalking towards another catastrophe’ – FBU statement marking 2 years since Grenfell fire

Two years on Unite stands in #solidarity with all affected by #Grenfell


We remember the 72 people who died


We remember the lives changed forever


We remember it was an avoidable tragedy Today we remember – tomorrow we renew our call to demand #Justice4Grenfell


‘Sleepwalking towards another catastrophe’ – FBU statement marking 2 years since Grenfell fire

Firefighters form a guard of honour at the first anniversary march for the Grenfell Tower fire

‘WE RISK sleepwalking into another catastrophic loss of life. We demand urgent action from the government to ensure that the events of Grenfell Tower can never happen again,’ Matt Wrack, Fire Brigade’s Union (FBU) general secretary, said in a special statement released today to mark the second anniversary of the horrific fire.

Wrack warned that because of savage Tory cuts to the fire service, if a similar fire broke out, they would not have the resources to deal with it.

Wrack said: ‘The second anniversary of Grenfell must be a moment of both heartfelt reflection and determined action.

‘We have seen 72 lives tragically lost, in a wholly preventable blaze, all while desperately firefighters risked their own lives to save others in a fire nobody had planned for.

‘Firefighters and emergency fire control staff never want to see a fire like that again, and are calling on the government to take immediate action.

‘In the time since the fire, the government’s facile approach has utterly failed all those involved that night and the thousands of people who are at risk across the country.

‘After two years, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry has delivered no answers and we are no closer to tackling any of the underlying causes of the tragedy.

‘Countless homes are still wrapped in flammable materials, while warnings from tenants about risks to their safety go ignored.

‘Fire and rescue services are, in the face of continued cuts, unable to prepare for a similar incident, with no national structures or coordination from government.’

Meanwhile, tower blocks across England have been lit up in a series of guerrilla projections highlighting a national fire safety crisis that appears to be getting worse rather than better.

As night fell on Wednesday, buildings in London, Greater Manchester and Newcastle were illuminated with messages up to 12 storeys high warning that two years after the fire that killed 72 people, they are still not fitted with sprinklers, have defective fire doors or are wrapped in dangerous cladding.

Luxury apartments, NV Buildings in Salford were illuminated with a message that read: ‘2 years after Grenfell and this building is still covered in dangerous cladding. #DemandChange.’

In London at Frinstead House on the Silchester estate, which neighbours Grenfell, the projection highlighted its lack of sprinklers.

Frinstead is just a stone’s throw from Whitstable House. The tower block was subject to a bin fire only a few weeks ago, and as smoke rose through the bin shaft and started to fill the landings all the way up to the 16th floor, no fire alarm or smoke alarm sounded.

This evening thousands are expected to join the silent walk through the streets of North Kensington, and on Saturday there is a march through central London to Parliament demanding justice for Grenfell.



Grenfell Towers – Unite appeal

JUNE 04, 2019

The full horror of the fire at the Grenfell Tower is yet to unfold but we do know that there has been many fatalities, serious injuries and hundreds of people have been left destitute and in despair.

There are very many questions to be asked about the cause of this tradgedy, and when the time is appropriate this union will be redoubling its efforts to put decent, safe social housing back on the political agenda.  There are thousands of such towers around the UK.  We must ensure that they pose no risk to human life.

Unite has donated £100,000 to the Red Cross London Fire Relief appeal set up to assist the people affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy and will be providing legal assistance to the residents to ensure that they are able to pursue the inquiry that is urgently needed to shine the light on the full causes of the horrific blaze, which has already claimed many lives, including those of Unite members.

Unite’s General Secretary Len McCluskey said: “Our hearts go out to those grieving after this horrific event.  Innocent people lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower, hundreds more are left destitute and in despair. We must get answers as to how this happened, and action to ensure that this never happens again. 

“Unite itself is grieving at the loss of our members who lived in that tower. We are volunteering on the ground in an effort to offer the community our every assistance during this traumatic time. We hope that this union’s donation can make some contribution to the fund to rebuild lives.

“We cannot comprehend the suffering of those who survived but we can support them to get justice in what was an entirely preventable tragedy. Unite will be offering full legal support for all victims of this horrific event.  

“We will not rest until the full truth of what has gone is uncovered, and we will not be allowing the shameful cuts to legal aid to prevent that truth from being exposed. Unite is sending lawyers to the community and has set up a Freephone number for anyone needing legal assistance.

“Furthermore, the public inquiry must ensure that it is the correct route to deliver justice. The people of Grenfell must be able to hold the entire decision-making chain to account. 

“The honest exposure of the reasons for this avoidable human tragedy is the very least the Grenfell community deserves from this government.”

But we also need your help.  We need you to donate to the fund to support the residents of Grenfell Tower.

Can your branch make a donation to help those affected by this horror through these very dark times?

If so, please donate to:

London Fire

Account 33201148

Sort code 60 83 01

With very many thanks

Siobhan Endean

National Officer, Community, Youth and Not for Profit Sector, Unite

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