Firefighters to strike over Christmas holidays
FIREFIGHTERS in Bolton are to strike on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve - and launch a ban on overtime in an escalation of their long-running dispute with the government over pensions.
They will join their colleagues in the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) across England and Wales to walk out for five hours from 7pm on December 24, for six hours from 6.30pm on December 31 and for two hours from 6.30am on January 3.
And between 7pm on December 27 and 7pm on the December 29, all firefighters in the union across England, Wales and Scotland will refuse to work voluntary overtime.
It will be the first time firefighters in all three nations have taken industrial action in this dispute over retirement age and pensions.
Firefighters in Bolton stopped work on Friday and Saturday evenings, so after the new walkouts, the union will have staged nine separate strikes since September.
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.”
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