Striking firefighters tell the government it has a "fight on its hands"

The Bolton News: Striking firefighters tell the government it has a "fight on its hands" Striking firefighters tell the government it has a "fight on its hands"

FIREFIGHTERS walked out of stations across Bolton as part of a three-day consecutive strike as the row over pension reforms intensifies.

Crews from Bolton, Bolton North, Horwich and Farnworth stations went on strike for five hours on Friday, 12 hours on Saturday and another five hours on Sunday.

This strike is the fifth time industrial action has taken place over the pensions reforms, which will see firefighters forced to pay higher contributions towards their pensions and make them work for longer.

Watch manager at Bolton station Ian Reed accused the government of using ‘bullying tactics’ to take away the pension pots he and his colleagues had been paying into for years.

He said: “I’m sick and tired of the big wigs down in London dictating to us when they don’t even know what we do.

“How long do MPs have to work before they can collect their full pension?

“We pick people off the floor when they are at their lowest point, but I don’t think MPs know what we do day in day out.

“The ambulance, the police, the fire service — the public service are the backbone of this country. And it’s our families who suffer when we’re helping members of the public.

“My father went on strike for nine weeks in 1977, and it almost broke my family — and that was for the pension deal we have at the moment.

“I’m not going to disgrace my father’s name by taking this.

“They are going to have a fight on their hands. There’s no way we are taking this lying down.”

The government’s pension proposals also says firefighters could be sacked if their fitness declines as they get older, and anyone who wants to retire at 55 faces losing almost 50 per cent of their pension.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said the future of the fire service was at stake.

He added: “Just like the current bout of industrial action, future strikes could be avoided simply by the government honouring current pension promises and releasing proposals for the future that reflect the discussions we've held over the last three years and take account of the evidence we have presented about our occupation.”

The Department of Communities and Local Government says the deal being offered to firefighters is “one of the most generous pension schemes in all the public sector”.

Comments (9)

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7:39am Mon 5 May 14

GCD1950 says...

When will the people realise that workers and now in particular emergency service personnel are under attack?
We now have zero hour pay systems, this is not new it used to happen before we had workers rights, tallies would be thrown into the factory yard where the quickest and fittest scrambled to get a tally which gave them a days work possibly 12 hours for a pittance, when we recruit firefighters we want commitment and dedication, and we need to protect that group of people with a realistic pension and realistic retirement age. Where has socialism gone ? Where is the trade union solidarity? Thatcherism is clearly embedded in our lives thanks to people like Scargill, Blair Brown and new breed of right wingers, that's just the Labour Party, the traditional right wingers are having a field day, calling on cheap and desperate workers to do the job for next to nothing. We need to support our firefighters now so look at your voting slips carefully, watch out for scaremongering right wingers, and avoid at all cost the big three who have sat back and allowed this all to happen.
When will the people realise that workers and now in particular emergency service personnel are under attack? We now have zero hour pay systems, this is not new it used to happen before we had workers rights, tallies would be thrown into the factory yard where the quickest and fittest scrambled to get a tally which gave them a days work possibly 12 hours for a pittance, when we recruit firefighters we want commitment and dedication, and we need to protect that group of people with a realistic pension and realistic retirement age. Where has socialism gone ? Where is the trade union solidarity? Thatcherism is clearly embedded in our lives thanks to people like Scargill, Blair Brown and new breed of right wingers, that's just the Labour Party, the traditional right wingers are having a field day, calling on cheap and desperate workers to do the job for next to nothing. We need to support our firefighters now so look at your voting slips carefully, watch out for scaremongering right wingers, and avoid at all cost the big three who have sat back and allowed this all to happen. GCD1950
  • Score: 3

8:29am Mon 5 May 14

The Righteous One says...

You mean the Big as UKIP want to privatise ALL the emergency services, as seen in their current manifesto which is on their website!!!
You mean the Big as UKIP want to privatise ALL the emergency services, as seen in their current manifesto which is on their website!!! The Righteous One
  • Score: -1

9:31am Mon 5 May 14

CarlXVIGustaf says...

Sorry guys but gold-plated pensions just for playing snooker all day are a thing of the past.

Maybe you could use some of your taxi earnings to pay into a private pension?
Sorry guys but gold-plated pensions just for playing snooker all day are a thing of the past. Maybe you could use some of your taxi earnings to pay into a private pension? CarlXVIGustaf
  • Score: 6

11:18am Mon 5 May 14

thomas222 says...

The Righteous One wrote:
You mean the Big as UKIP want to privatise ALL the emergency services, as seen in their current manifesto which is on their website!!!
Stop lying the Manifesto is not out until after the Election on the 22nd May. You really are obsessed with UKIP considering you think they are no threat. How strange.
[quote][p][bold]The Righteous One[/bold] wrote: You mean the Big as UKIP want to privatise ALL the emergency services, as seen in their current manifesto which is on their website!!![/p][/quote]Stop lying the Manifesto is not out until after the Election on the 22nd May. You really are obsessed with UKIP considering you think they are no threat. How strange. thomas222
  • Score: 7

11:19am Mon 5 May 14

thomas222 says...

We cant afford it any more simple as that.
We cant afford it any more simple as that. thomas222
  • Score: 5

1:42pm Mon 5 May 14

maxie1 says...

CarlXVIGustaf wrote:
Sorry guys but gold-plated pensions just for playing snooker all day are a thing of the past.

Maybe you could use some of your taxi earnings to pay into a private pension?
I hope you never have need to call on the fire brigade you seem to think so little about - lets hope your house is never on fire or you are in a car crash and need to be cut free and god forbid there is ever a 9/11 tragedy - remember the firemen are the guys running in when everyone else is running out. They deserve every penny they get - pensions included!
[quote][p][bold]CarlXVIGustaf[/bold] wrote: Sorry guys but gold-plated pensions just for playing snooker all day are a thing of the past. Maybe you could use some of your taxi earnings to pay into a private pension?[/p][/quote]I hope you never have need to call on the fire brigade you seem to think so little about - lets hope your house is never on fire or you are in a car crash and need to be cut free and god forbid there is ever a 9/11 tragedy - remember the firemen are the guys running in when everyone else is running out. They deserve every penny they get - pensions included! maxie1
  • Score: 2

2:25pm Mon 5 May 14

thomas222 says...

maxie1 wrote:
CarlXVIGustaf wrote:
Sorry guys but gold-plated pensions just for playing snooker all day are a thing of the past.

Maybe you could use some of your taxi earnings to pay into a private pension?
I hope you never have need to call on the fire brigade you seem to think so little about - lets hope your house is never on fire or you are in a car crash and need to be cut free and god forbid there is ever a 9/11 tragedy - remember the firemen are the guys running in when everyone else is running out. They deserve every penny they get - pensions included!
If not happy then why not leave but dont think any will do as they have it very cushy & very well paid with great wages good pensions + uniform boots and anything else they need. They do a job no different to anyone else who serves the public. Perhaps you have not seen the fire engines & crews on Bradshawgate friday saturday nights charming the ladies. Some job eh& paid too. Also many have second and third jobs.
[quote][p][bold]maxie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CarlXVIGustaf[/bold] wrote: Sorry guys but gold-plated pensions just for playing snooker all day are a thing of the past. Maybe you could use some of your taxi earnings to pay into a private pension?[/p][/quote]I hope you never have need to call on the fire brigade you seem to think so little about - lets hope your house is never on fire or you are in a car crash and need to be cut free and god forbid there is ever a 9/11 tragedy - remember the firemen are the guys running in when everyone else is running out. They deserve every penny they get - pensions included![/p][/quote]If not happy then why not leave but dont think any will do as they have it very cushy & very well paid with great wages good pensions + uniform boots and anything else they need. They do a job no different to anyone else who serves the public. Perhaps you have not seen the fire engines & crews on Bradshawgate friday saturday nights charming the ladies. Some job eh& paid too. Also many have second and third jobs. thomas222
  • Score: 2

8:16pm Mon 5 May 14

Harold 1 says...

Delusions of self importance .."Support your local fireman, the next life he saves may be yours " was their bumper sticker for years .Maybe once upon a time before H&S rules rendered them ineffective to the point where they can't wade in a few inches of water to rescue a drowning child , they may have justified their pay and pensions. Now they're a militant bolshy risk averse bunch who sleep on their night shifts and almost invariably have a second job. They are also technicians who operate machinery like many other people.It's time they got real and stopped trying to abuse their perceived position of power.
Delusions of self importance .."Support your local fireman, the next life he saves may be yours " was their bumper sticker for years .Maybe once upon a time before H&S rules rendered them ineffective to the point where they can't wade in a few inches of water to rescue a drowning child , they may have justified their pay and pensions. Now they're a militant bolshy risk averse bunch who sleep on their night shifts and almost invariably have a second job. They are also technicians who operate machinery like many other people.It's time they got real and stopped trying to abuse their perceived position of power. Harold 1
  • Score: 7

8:14am Wed 7 May 14

Gore Seer says...

The Miners Told Government They Have A Fight On There Hands, Scargill Was Right His Predictions Came True, Shame He Lost The Fight. But The Firemen Just Did Nothing, Now Its There Time To Lose The Fight.
The Miners Told Government They Have A Fight On There Hands, Scargill Was Right His Predictions Came True, Shame He Lost The Fight. But The Firemen Just Did Nothing, Now Its There Time To Lose The Fight. Gore Seer
  • Score: 0

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