Fire service strike threat

Firefighter strike fears (below) Chris Molloy, the FBU's Blackpool representative.
Firefighter strike fears (below) Chris Molloy, the FBU's Blackpool representative.
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A firefighter fears he and his colleagues will be driven to strike action over proposed pension changes.

The Government is proposing to increase the retirement age for firefighters from 55 to 60.

Chris Molloy, the FBU's Blackpool representative.

Chris Molloy, the FBU's Blackpool representative.

And Fire Brigades Union (FBU) Blackpool representative Chris Molloy says they will be left with “no option” but to take industrial action should that go ahead.

The FBU gave the Government 14 days to respond to seven demands made after a resolution passed on Friday at its biennial national conference, which was held at the Imperial Hotel, in Blackpool.

Among the demands are for a flexible retirement age after firefighters turn 55 and no further increases in contributions towards the service’s pension scheme.

Mr Molloy, who works at Blackpool fire station, on Forest Gate, said: “A seven point plan was put to ministers and, depending on that resolution, we’ll be left with no option but to call for a strike.

“They seem to be refusing to talk so it would be quite surprising if they do come back with anything.”

Should ministers not respond to the FBU proposals, balloting for strike action could begin as early as next Friday.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack told the conference: “The Government’s own report demonstrates that a very high proportion of firefighters would not be able to reach the proposed pension age.

“Instead they would face the prospect of being dismissed on grounds of capability.”

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