Firefighters to walkout for four days in run up to Bonfire Night

Firefighters will be striking from October 31.
Firefighters will be striking from October 31.

Firefighters have now begun a four-day strike in the run up to Bonfire Night as the long-running dispute over pensions rumbles on.

The action by members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) began at 6pm tonight. They will not return to work until the evening before Bonfire Night.

The firefighters’ dispute has continued for months as the union says frontline firefighters are facing the imposition of a pension that ignores the physical demands of the job they do.

Under government proposals firefighters will have to work until they are 60 instead of 55, pay more into their pensions and get less in retirement.

Union general secretary Matt Wrack said: “Firefighters are incandescent following two months of negotiations which have led to no new proposals.

“Firefighters will not stand by and see our members’ pension rights destroyed by a government which does not give a damn about the safety and wellbeing of firefighters or the long term.

“The public do not want 60 year olds tackling fires. Everyone understands the stupidity of these plans – except government ministers.”

Householders are being urged to take extra care during the strike.

Councillor Richard Thake, who oversees community safety, said: “We’re extremely disappointed that the FBU has announced yet more strikes. This ill-conceived strike will leave the people of Hertfordshire at increased risk.

“The FBU’s repeated walkouts are putting huge pressure on their non-striking colleagues, who are doing a fantastic job providing emergency cover during the strike periods, but it’s hard to see how they’re going to help resolve their dispute with the government.”

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning – a former firefighter who is now a government minister – has in the past also spoken out against the FBU’s strikes