If they lived in London they could all be slinging their hook come February.
In my weak fumbling around in the economic wilderness trying to understand the meat & bones of it I do come across many interesting terms- one such term I've heard of late that sadly has entered the collective consciousness of the masses is monopsony.
I think this might be regarded as an example of such a phenomena at play - the state being the sole buyer of the firefighters services is ultimately to it's detriment.
Don't get me wrong - union strong-arming of Labour policy while in power bears a lot of the blame for the problems we are experiencing now and the firefighters, like every other public sector body, needs to feel the pinch as much as the private sector has; it just amuses me that whilst socialised call for the usurpation of private business and the means of production we have an example right here of the consequences of centralising a service then finding you don't like the terms of the agreement.
Let's hope noone tries this in the NHS eh? That'd be a shock.