Firefighters set to walk out over Christmas and New Year

Warrington Guardian: Firefighters set to walk out over Christmas and New Year Firefighters set to walk out over Christmas and New Year

MORE firefighter strikes have been planned, this time on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, as union leaders claim the government is still refusing to negotiate with them.

Fire Brigade Union members will be walking out on three occasions over the Christmas period as an argument over raising the pension age is yet to be resolved.

The new strike dates are 7pm to 12am on Christmas Eve, 6.30pm on New Year’s Eve to 12.30am on New Year’s Day and 6.30 to 8.30am on January 3.

Matt Wrack, union general secretary, said: “Firefighters provide a first-class standard of service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and these strikes will remind the government just how reliant they are on our members’ professionalism, commitment and flexibility.

“However, there should be no need for industrial action and it’s absurd that firefighters’ concerns over pensions have not been addressed already.

“The government must stop claiming they are negotiating when they have refused to talk for two months and insist on forcing through proposals that are unaffordable, unworkable and unfair.

“By simply conceding common sense and allowing firefighters a fair deal, the government could end this industrial action today.”

On top of the seventh, eighth and ninth strikes during the campaign, staff are also refusing to work voluntary overtime on Christmas Eve and the during the following weekend.

The union claims evidence suggests at least two thirds of the current workforce will face dismissal or their pension reduced by almost half if the pension age is increased beyond the age of 55 because they would be unable to maintain the fitness standards required.

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