Firefighters’ strike to hit emergency service

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Firefighters are set to hold a second strike in a dispute over pensions.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has given notice of a five-hour stoppage from 6.30pm on Saturday, October 19.

The union held a four-hour strike on September 25 in protest at firefighters being made to work until they are 60 to entitle them to a full pension.

Thousands of FBU members in England and Wales will take part in the latest action unless a settlement is reached between the union and the government.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “We had hoped our first strike was enough to show government that firefighters could not be more serious about protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions.

“No firefighter wants to strike, and it’s desperately disappointing that governments in Westminster and Cardiff continue to deny reality over pensions costs and the need for a pension scheme that reflects the job firefighters do.

“Firefighters simply cannot be expected to fight fires and rescue families in their late 50s and into their 60s.”

West Yorkshire fire service bosses said contingency measures would be in place during the strike.

Chief fire officer Simon Pilling said: “We remain confident in our contingency plans after they were tested, and proved to be successful, during the last period of strike action in September.

“A reduced emergency response will again be inevitable during this next strike action, however, we do our very best to provide effective services throughout.”