Firefighters strike in row over pensions

Firefighters at Forest Gate on strike over pensions.
Firefighters at Forest Gate on strike over pensions.

Firefighters are staying resolute in their long-running battle for better pension rights, their union leader said today as the latest strikes continued across the Fylde.

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members were on strike between noon and 5pm yesterday, and were due to walk out again today between 2pm and 2am tomorrow, and on Sunday between 10am and 3pm.

Chris Molloy, the FBU’s Blackpool representative, said: “Our members are very resolute and what they want is a fair and affordable pension.

“We had thought we had seen the end of it when the strikes over Christmas were cancelled and the Government said they would have talks with us.

“We have spent four months talking and have not had a single constructive proposal come forward to us.

“The last thing we wanted was to withdraw labour.

“I have spoken to guys who were on the picket line yesterday and they said they had had an enormous amount of support.

“I cannot put an exact figure on the number of firefighters on strike yesterday but I would say it was the vast majority.”

Among the FBU’s demands in the dispute, which has been going on for three years, are for a flexible retirement age after firefighters turn 55 and no further increases in contributions towards the service’s pension scheme.