Firefighters set for strikes on two days

Firefighters in England and Wales are to stage two fresh strikes in their bitter row with the Government over pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will walk out on November 1 from 6.30pm to 11pm and on November 4 from 6am to 8am.

The union said the Government and fire employers had failed to offer any firm guarantees on jobs or pensions as a result of changes to the pension age from 55 to 60.

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The FBU postponed a five-hour strike last week after saying that the Westminster Government and fire employers had shifted their position and recognised that firefighters faced losing their jobs and a “large chunk” of their pensions under new changes imposed in April.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “The FBU has been very reasonable, but we are now faced with broken promises and those in power evading their responsibilities.

“The Westminster Government has created this mess, but it is refusing to clear it up. It now recognises the problem, but it won’t provide the legal and financial guarantees firefighters need to ensure they have a job and an unreduced pension in the future.

“Firefighters face the sack towards the end of their career and the loss of their pension. That can’t be right.

“The employers promised to tackle the issue of firefighters facing the sack for failing fitness tests last week, only to say they can’t offer any guarantees this week.

“That is simply not the way to run a public service.”