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Firefighters buoyed by strike support
10:48am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
FIREFIGHTERS have said their morale has been boosted thanks to the support of the public during their strike last week.
Crews received a round of applause and honks of support from motorists in Warrington as they walked out for four hours in a dispute over pensions.
It is not yet known whether they will strike again as the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) wait to see if the Government will discuss concerns raised over the pension age rising to 60.
James Bell, Warrington crew manager, said: “None of us want to do this and we’re all disappointed it’s come to this but we felt we had no other option.
“The Government is not listening to the FBU or to its own independent advisors over the capability of firefighters working at age 60.
“If words are not working, actions may speak louder.”
The union has said between 70 and 90 per cent of current operational staff would not be able to attain fitness levels needed between ages 55 and 60.
It means they could be failed on capability grounds and would lose their job and their pension but the union are still seeking clarity from the Government.
Mr Bell added: “We take our jobs seriously and don’t want to give members of the public a service that’s compromised.
“It’s dangerous and unachievable to expect firefighters to work to 60 and we want to negotiate.”
Dave Williams, from Cheshire FBU, added: “From the picket lines, phone-ins, and twitter, we received a lot of favourable comments. That has boosted the morale of firefighters.”
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