Firefighters on four-day strike

FIREFIGHTERS will strike for four days from today in a continuing row over pensions.

They will walk out from 6pm with the strike ending on the evening before Guy Fawkes’ Night.

The FBU has accused the government of refusing to put forward any new offer despite two months of talks.

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Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt said the strike action was “completely unnecessary” and damaged the fire and rescue service’s “good reputation”.

The FBU said it had negotiated in good faith and has taken up every opportunity to make its case and to seek changes to the government’s pension plans, which the union says are expensive and unworkable.

Despite promising statements from Penny Mordaunt, the Westminster fire minister, it is now clear the government does not want to resolve this dispute and is spoiling for a fight, the FBU claimed.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Firefighters are incandescent following two months of negotiations which have led to no new proposals.

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 “Firefighters will not stand by and see our members’ pension rights destroyed by a government which does not give a damn about the safety or wellbeing of firefighters in the long term

 “The public do not want 60 year olds tackling fires. Everyone understand the stupidity of these plans — except government Ministers.”

South Yorkshire’s Chief Fire Officer has warned residents that his service’s 999 response service will be “severely depleted.”

Contingency plans are in place to provide emergency cover during the strike service but its emergency response will be reduced, with significantly fewer fire engines available to respond to 999 calls.


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Chief Fire Officer James Courtney, said: “In a genuine emergency, we will get there, but it will take us longer than normal. With that in mind, now is the ideal time to test your smoke alarms and make sure you have an escape plan for getting out of your house quickly and safely in the event of a fire.”

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