More strikes are on the cards

Firefighters in town are taking part in another round of strikes from tomorrow (Saturday).

Members of the Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) are picketing between noon and 2pm, and from 11.59pm to 12.59am, every day from tomorrow to Saturday, August 16.

The industrial action centres around an ongoing dispute over firefighters’ pensions.

The Government wants firefighters to work up to 60 rather than retire at the age of 55, as they currently do.

Union officials from the FBU say Whitehall’s proposals mean that firefighters will face dismissal simply because they cannot maintain the high physical fitness requirements necessary for their role until they are age 60.

The FBU also believes it is impractical for firefighters to work beyond the age of 55 which they said is backed up by the Anthony Williams report, commissioned by the Government itself.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “It is absolutely ludicrous that a government can impose a scheme which means that firefighters will have to ride engines and rescue people from fires up to age 60.

“This is unsafe and unrealistic for both firefighters and the public. We know it, and the public know it, but the Government will not listen to the evidence-based case we have made to them.”

The dispute started last September when firefighters in Hastings and around the UK walked out.

To date more than a dozen strikes have been held across the country.

The Government says the firefighter pension age of 60 will bring their pension age into line with the police and Armed Forces.