Firefighters
launch strikes
over pensions

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Firefighters have launched a series of fresh strikes in a long-running dispute with the Government over pensions, with more walkouts planned this weekend.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in England and Wales walked out for five hours from noon yesterday, and will strike again between 2pm today and 2am on Sunday, and between 10am and 3pm tomorrow, forcing fire authorities to make alternative arrangements for fire cover.

The Government denied union claims that Ministers had drawn up alternative proposals six weeks ago, but had been “sitting” on them ever since.

Firefighters mounted picket lines across the country, including Weymouth, despite a visit by the Earl and Countess of Wessex.