Firefighters call four-day strike in row over pensions

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Firefighters will go on strike for four days as part of an ongoing row with the government over pensions.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said the strike would start at 6pm tomorrow and end at 6pm on Tuesday, November 4, the day before Bonfire Night.

People are being urged to take extra care during the industrial action, which will hit fire service cover around England.

The FBU is furious at a government proposals to increase the age firefighters have to work until to get their full pension from 55 to 60.

The FBU claims the plan would lead to firefighters working until they were too old to be fit enough to put tackle serious incidents.

Talks with fire minister Penny Mordaunt over the past two months have failed to resolve the dispute.

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

“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.”

Dave Walton, assistant West Yorkshire chief fire officer, said contingency plans would be in place during the strike.

He said: “Everyone involved with the fire and rescue service was hopeful that the extended period of talks and meetings between the FBU and the minister would lead to a resolution to the dispute.

“Clearly that is not the case and West Yorkshire will now be subject to an extended period of strike by its firefighters, which is not good for anyone.

“The service will work hard to provide fire cover as part of a contingency plan.

“The level of cover that we will be able to provide will not be to same level as a regular day or night and we urge the community to take extra care.”