Lincolnshire firefighters set further 24 hours strike

Lincolnshire firefighters will join a national 24-hour strike from 9am on Tuesday December 9 in an ongoing dispute over pensions.

The strike, which stands against almost three years of discussions and action, joins previous long lines of strike actions across the county.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) would prefer for staff to retire at 55 with their full pension, rather than the required age of 60.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Firefighters in England are reluctantly calling further strike action as a direct result of the Westminster government’s failure to listen and negotiate over pensions.

“Firefighters are asking the Westminster government to immediately open genuine negotiations to resolve this dispute.

“They should also hold a House of Commons debate to fully scrutinise the legislation and there should be a parliamentary vote on the regulations.

“We need to be clear. We are not going to give up or go away. Firefighters will fight for however long it takes to secure a fair pensions deal – this dispute will not end as long as the regulations remain unchanged.”

Local support

Trade unions and campaign groups in Lincolnshire have expressed their support ahead of the 24 hour walk-out by FBU members.

Elaine Smith, Lincolnshire National Pensioners Convention representative, said: “The proposals assume that firefighters of 60 can meet the same physical standards as 20 year olds.

“When they lose their fitness the choice is accept a much reduced pension or get the sack. This is unworkable and dangerous.”

Nick Parker, Secretary of Lincoln & District TUC, added: “Firefighters are another group of ordinary people who are being forced to pay for an economic crisis that they didn’t cause.

“Government plans will make them work longer in a very demanding job or face being sacked on the cheap. We agree with the FBU slogan that firefighters should ‘rescue people, not banks’. They deserve our full support in their campaign.”