UPATED: Firefighters strike for a third time
FIREFIGHTERS across Bolton walked out for two hours in protest over changes to their pension terms — their third strike in recent weeks.
Members of the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) picketed outside stations across the town from 6am until 8am yesterday.
The industrial action is a response to proposed changes to when firefighters can retire — with Government bosses looking to increase the age from 55 to 60.
Watch manager at Bolton Fire Station Ian Read said about 30 of their staff took part in the strike.
He said: “Nearly all of our firefighters are union members. The turnout was good.
“We’re all pretty upset about what the Government is trying to do to firefighters.”
Out of 11 calls made to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue service during the strike period, none were related to Bolton.
However, stand-in services had to attend two incidents in Sale and Mossley.
FBU general secretary, Matt Wrack, said the union will continue negotiating with the Government in a bid to stop the changes.
He said: “If the Government is serious about firefighters being protected from being sacked without access to their pensions, as it claims to be, why won’t it draft the pension regulations?
“The threat of firefighters facing the sack without access to a full pension as they get older is only one aspect of our campaign, but discussions could move forward quite easily with this simple step.”
Chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Cllr David Acton, thanked the public for their vigiliance leading up to and during the industrial action taking place.
He added: “We hope that people will continue to be vigilant and take extra care, as fire safety and road safety are just as important every day of the year.”
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