Firefighters due to strike

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Local firefighters are due to join their colleagues across England and Wales for a 24-hour strike over pensions.

The strike — the longest yet in the three-year campaign – was due to start at 9am on Thursday, June 12.

The Fire Brigades Union announced the move after the Government confirmed it would implement a new pension scheme without further negotiations.

Another walk-out was also agreed for Saturday, June 21, between 10am and 5pm.

In addition to the two strikes, firefighters will not carry out any voluntary overtime which is routinely needed by many fire and rescue services to maintain fire cover or conduct training of strikebreakers between the beginning of the first strike and 9am on Sunday, June 22.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, claimed: “The minister has decided to bury his head in the sand, but he must accept that firefighters simply will not give up fighting for their futures –and our fire and rescue service.

“Concerns over these unworkable proposals remain as valid and grave as ever, and the Government has ignored all the evidence including its own reports.

“It is as ever a difficult decision for us to take, but the only way for us to resolve this unnecessary and costly dispute is for the government to start listening to reason.”

The strikes will be the thirteenth and fourteenth during the ongoing dispute over pensions. Reserved crews have been used during previous walk-outs.