Firefighters stage 24 hour strike action

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) strike.'Photo by: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) strike.'Photo by: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Firefighters in England have announced a further 24 hour strike to take place from 9am on Tuesday December 9.

Firefighters say the strike follows the Government’s decision to commence the Parliamentary procedure to implement regulations for an unfair, unaffordable and unworkable pension scheme.

The Fire Brigade Union (FBU), said that after almost three years of discussions firefighters still face a stark choice of either being sacked or a severely reduced pension if they fail fitness tests as a result of naturally declining fitness through age.

The union said it had gathered cross party support from MPs in Westminster who have signed an Early Day Motion (EDM 454) opposing the draft regulations.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Firefighters in England are reluctantly calling further strike action today as a direct result of the Westminster government’s failure to listen and negotiate over pensions.

“Firefighters are asking the Westminster government to immediately open genuine negotiations to resolve this dispute.

“They should also hold a House of Commons debate to fully scrutinise the legislation and there should be a parliamentary vote on the regulations.

“We need to be clear. We are not going to give up or go away.

“Firefighters will fight for however long it takes to secure a fair pensions deal – this dispute will not end as long as the regulations remain unchanged.”

Mr Wrack added that firefighters in Northern Ireland had lifted their trade dispute as the result of a revised and improved offer with a lower pension age, and firefighters in Scotland and Wales will be taking other forms of industrial action but will also not be on strike as a result of “genuine negotiations” with the Government.

He said: “It is sickening that the only part of the UK where the fire minister refuses to engage in genuine negotiations is England.”