More strikes in fire dispute

The Fire Brigade Union Branch Secretary Mick Drake holding placard and fellow members going out on strike on Friday evening at South Shore Fire station on St Annes Road in Blackpool.
The Fire Brigade Union Branch Secretary Mick Drake holding placard and fellow members going out on strike on Friday evening at South Shore Fire station on St Annes Road in Blackpool.
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Firefighters walked out this morning in an on-going row with the Government over pensions.

The strike, which took place between 6am and 8am, passed off without incident.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue tweeted: “This morning’s strike by the Fire Brigades Union is now over. There were no incidents during the two hours. Usual service resumed.”

It follows industrial action on Friday evening when members of the Fire Brigade Union walked out for four and a half hours.

In Lancashire, ‘resilience’ crews dealt with 19 incidents during Friday’s strike, from 6.30pm to 11pm.

A nuisance fire in a wheelie bin in Bispham was among the call-outs during that time.

A statement from Lancashire Fire and Rescue said: “The strikes carried out by firefighters on Friday has now ended.

“The majority of our fire engines were still available during this time.

“Firefighters attended several false alarms during the strike period but nothing that was malicious.”

The action comes as negotiations between the FBU and Government ministers appeared to deteriorate.

Last night, the FBU accused fire minister Brandon Lewis of worsening his offer on pensions and the proposed retirement age for firefighters.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “The Government has now put a further obstacle in the way of negotiations but after two years of talks the FBU remains committed to a resolution.

“No firefighter wanted a strike, but we must defend the fire service, public safety and our pensions.”

The union opposes moves to raise the retirement age for firefighters from 55 to 60.

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