Fire crews to strike again in row over pensions and retirement

4:45pm Friday 4th July 2014

FIRE fighters in Worcestershire are set to walk out on strike on eight consecutive days this month, starting on Monday, May 14.

The industrial action has been called by the Fire Brigades Union, which says the government's proposals for its members' pensions are unacceptable.

Union members will be on strike on Monday, July 14 to Thursday, July 17, between 6am and 8am, and 5pm and 7pm.

On Friday, July 18, they will be out from 6am to 8am and 11pm to 1am the next day, and on Saturday, they will be on strike from 11am to 1pm and 11pm to 1am.

On Sunday, they will strike from 5pm to 7pm, and the eight-day protest ends the next day, when the fire fighters will be on on strike between 6am and 8am and 5pm and 7pm.

The union opposes proposals to increase the retirement age from 55 to 60 and halve pensions for those who to retire before they are 60.

Matt Wrack, the FBU's general secretary, said: “The government must realise that firefighters cannot accept proposals that would have such devastating consequences for their futures, their families’ futures — and the future of the fire and rescue service itself.

“We have tried every route available to us to make the government see sense over their attacks. Three years of negotiations have come to nothing because the government is simply unwilling to compromise or even listen to reason.

“Shorter strike periods have illustrated the strength of feeling amongst firefighters whilst limiting disruption to the fire service, the public and our members’ working lives."

Adrian Elliott, group commander of Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We are encouraging motorists and residents to take extra care during the strikes when there will be reduced fire cover. Not all of our firefighters are members of the FBU, which means some stations will be working normally, but people should be aware that it may take us a little longer to respond to calls in some instances”.

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