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Firefighters across England and Wales took their fourth period of strike action between 10am and 2pm today.
The union has been at loggerheads with the government over proposals to change the retirement age from 55 to 60 and the introduction of a new fitness test, which the union fears will see firefighters forced out before retirement.
Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack said:
“After 35 years of service — and paying at least £4,000 a year — firefighters could now receive just over £9,000 a year or the sack simply because of declining fitness as they get older.”
“We’re keen to resolve this through negotiations, but the government is simply ignoring all the evidence we have submitted.”
He also told the Press Association that the union would not rule out further industrial action, adding:
“We are determined to dig in for the long haul.”
But Fire Minister Brandon Lewis condemned the strike.
He said: “The FBU’s fourth strike day contradicts its claims to want to resolve this dispute through negotiation, and further damages the good reputation of firefighters with the public.
“The FBU should call off the industrial action to continue discussions.”
The FBU have produced a “myth buster” page explaining the pension changes and the current situation facing firefighters.
It can be read here: http://www.fbu.org.uk/archives/8347