FIRE crews in Bolton are set to take their protracted row with the government over pensions to new levels when they strike for eight successive days.

Members of the Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) are set to walk out for a total of 30 hours between Monday, July 14 and July 21.

Crews at Bolton Central, Bolton North and Farnworth will also stage their 15th strike since August last year by joining public sector workers on July 10 in walking out from 10am to 7pm.

The FBU is accusing the government of carrying out a “vicious” attack on firefighters’ pensions.

Union members are protesting over the government's plans to increase pension contributions and raise the retirement age for firefighters from 55 to 60.

During the eight-day action, crews will not work from 6am to 8am and 5pm to 7pm on the first four days, before staging a two-hour overnight strike from 11pm on Friday, July 18.

Firefighters will strike from 11am to 1pm on July 19 and for the second time overnight that evening.

The sequence of industrial action ends with a solitary strike from 5pm to 7pm on July 20 and a morning and evening strike on July 21.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “The government must realise that firefighters cannot accept proposals that would have such devastating consequences for their futures, their families’ futures — and the future of the fire and rescue service itself.

“We have tried every route available to us to make the government see sense over their attacks.

“Three years of negotiations have come to nothing because the government is simply unwilling to compromise, or even listen to reason, despite a huge amount of evidence showing their planned scheme is unworkable.

"Shorter strike periods have illustrated the strength of feeling among firefighters while limiting disruption to the fire service, the public and our members’ working lives.”