Firefighters to take action over holidays

Firefighters are set to take further industrial action over the Christmas period in a row over concerns for their pensions.

The Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) has announced strikes will take place between 7pm and midnight on Christmas Eve, from 6.30pm on New Year’s Eve to 12.30am on New Year’s Day, and then from 6.30am to 8.30am on Friday, January 3.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “Firefighters provide a first-class standard of service 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, and these strikes will remind government just how reliant they are on our members’ professionalism, commitment and flexibility.

“However, there should be no need for industrial action, and it’s absurd that firefighters’ concerns over pensions have not been addressed already.

“The government must stop claiming they are negotiating when they have refused to talk for two months and insist on forcing through proposals that are unaffordable, unworkable and unfair.

“By simply conceding common sense and allowing firefighters a fair deal, the government could end this industrial action today.”

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service said it would be implementing an emergency service plan simlar to that in operation during previous strikes to cover the periods of industrial action.