Firefighters threaten further walkouts

Union representative Chris Molloy
Union representative Chris Molloy
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Fire union chiefs today refused to rule out further strike action if a dispute over pensions continues to go unresolved.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union across England have been on strike since 6pm on Friday. The walkout is due to finish at 6pm today.

Cover across the county has been less than half its usual level, with resilence crews responding to two major incidents – a major fire in Haslingden and an incident where a lorry crashed into shops in St Annes, which was featured in yesterday’s Gazette.

But Blackpool’s representative of the Fire Brigades Union refused to rule out further strike action if the pensions dispute goes unresolved.

Chris Molloy, a representative of the Fire Brigades Union, from Forest Gate fire station, believes that if a compromise is not reached then more action is unavoidable.

While the union’s executive council have to meet and discuss further operations, Mr Malloy said: “We will continue our action until we get a fair deal. We won’t be bullied.”

Discussions have been going on for three years due to changes to the working agreements of the Fire Brigade.

Under the new scheme, firefighters will work to 60-years-old, instead of 55, to claim their full pension.

There are concerns two-thirds of the service will be unable to continue working until 60.

Mr Molloy said: “There is no guarantee that when you lose fitness due to your age that there will be another role except from operational firefighter.”