UK: firemen warn of more strikes

Firefighters in England and Wales are threatening further strikes over changes to their pension schemes after they took industrial action for the first time in a decade.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) staged a four-hour walkout at noon on Wednesday, leaving the brigades searching for volunteers to deal with the less urgent incoming emergency calls.

Now, FBU chief Matt Wrack says further action is possible if the coalition government does not heed their demands.

“This was solidly supported strike action by firefighters across England and Wales. It has demonstrated their anger and their determination,” Wrack said.

“This strike was a last resort … and a warning shot that firefighters are serious about keeping a fair, safe and workable pensions scheme. We haven’t ruled out further industrial action, but let’s hope common sense wins out, public safety is put first and the government comes back open to compromise,” he added.

FBU says the government™s new pension plans are unfair as they force firefighters to work until they are 60 while paying more into their pension pots and getting less on retirement.

AMR/HE

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