Firefighters begin strike over pensions – three days of action starting Saturday ending Monday

Fire Brigade Union strike. Pic: FBU

Fire Brigade Union strike. Pic: FBU

Members of the Fire Brigades Union across the country are staging a walk out for five hours today (from 12 till 5pm) over a pensions dispute.

It marks the beginning of a three day strike action.

Firefighters have to pay higher pension contributions, work into their late 50’s before retiring and face having their employment brought into question as their fitness decreases with age.

They claim the government’s pension proposals are unworkable, unaffordable and unsustainable.

The strike will resume on Saturday 3rd May from 2pm until 2am on Sunday, and finally between 10am and 3pm on the 5th May.

Will fire authorities be able to arrange for cover in a similar way to London Transport over the current tube strike? Will the public have sympathy during these periods of strike action with reduced fire protection?

Fire Fighters Pic: Fire Brigade's Union London

Pic: Fire Brigade’s Union London

The government says it will not yield to industrial action. 27 fire engines will be on standby in London for emergencies during the weekend.

The Fire Brigades Union has received support from the General Secretary of the Public & Commercial Services (PCS), the sixth largest trade union in the country, whose 250,000 members work in government departments.

Firefighters held a number of strikes in 2013 following talks over plans to extend the retirement age and pension changes. The strike of the next three days is the result of the failure of those talks.

The fire service is advising people to take extra care in terms of fire safety during the strikes.

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