UK fire fighters are primed and ready to stage the first national walk out for over 25 years, due to a row over salary cuts.
Strikes have been organised for December 13th (Friday) and December 14th (Saturday) by the Fire Brigades Union, who are protesting against the government’s new pension scheme.
The scheme disregards just how demanding a job such as fire-fighting is, and members of the force aged sixty or over are still expected to meet the physical demands of the job, or they get their pensions cut to £9,000 a year.
“By forcing thousands of fire-fighters into a new and worse pension scheme, the government is also refusing to honour the pension agreement they made with fire-fighters on joining the fire service,” says FBU general secretary Matt Wrack. “The government’s plans are to create a pension scheme which takes no account of the physically demanding job fire-fighters do and the fire service fitness standards they need to meet. Expecting men and women at the age of 60 to meet the same fitness standards required of 20 year olds is just not logical. Unfortunately the government is ignoring all the evidence on this issue, including its own reports. It is a callous way to treat men and woman who have put their lives on the line to protect others.”