Firefighters in England and Wales are to strike on eight consecutive days in their long-running row with the government over pensions. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has escalated industrial action, saying that the current proposals on pensions and later retirement age are “unacceptable, unworkable and unrealistic”. Strikes will take place between 14 July and 21 July.
FBU members in Wales and England will also join the huge strike by more than a million public sector workers next Thursday. Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) are due to join council workers, health workers and civil servants across England and Wales for a one-day stoppage on 10 July.
The FBU has been in negotiations with the government for three years in an attempt to avoid the implementation of proposals that it says would see firefighters paying more, working longer and receiving less. Matt Wrack, the general secretary, said: “The government must realise that firefighters cannot accept proposals that would have such devastating consequences for their futures, their families’ futures, and the future of the fire and rescue service itself.
“We have tried every route available to us to make the government see sense over their attacks. Three years of negotiations have come to nothing because the government is simply unwilling to compromise or even listen to reason despite a huge amount of evidence showing their planned scheme is unworkable.