Blazing row over pensions leads to further strike action by firefighters

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Firefighters have called strike action in a row with the government over changes to their pensions.

A 24-hour strike will be held from 9am on Thursday, followed by another stoppage from 10am-5pm on Saturday, June 21.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said its members would also not carry out voluntary overtime in between the two strikes.

The union said pension changes meant firefighters who were forced to retire before the age of 60 as a result of losing fitness because of ageing would have half their pensions taken away.

Pension contributions are also being increased for firefighters.

The FBU accused the government of refusing to come publish an alternative proposals on pension.

Next week’s strike will be the 13th since September 2013 in the dispute.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, said: “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.”