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Unions warn of further fire strikes

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: November 13, 2013

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FIREFIGHTERS have insisted they will not back down in their dispute with the Government which has led today’s strikes – the fourth wave of action in recent weeks.

Crews were once again downing tools between 10am and 2pm today as the row over pensions rages on.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has insisted it will not call a halt to the strikes until the Government gives members what they want, despite growing anger from sections of the public following the decision to strike twice in the build up to Bonfire Night.

Bosses have also threatened that firefighters will down tools for longer periods than today’s four-hour strike in the run up to Christmas.

Barry Downey, secretary for the Fire Brigades Union in Staffordshire, said: “We want to end this dispute around the negotiating table but as long as the Government in England and Wales remain as they are at the moment we will have no option to look at further strikes and for longer, but that will be for the national unions to decide.

“Our members are prepared for a long fight we are not going to lie down and allow this to be imposed on us.

“If the Government think we will, they are sadly mistaken. We are firefighters, we don’t give up easily. In our job we take on difficult challenges and we can’t allow this to go unchallenged.”

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has again urged people to take care during the strike period.

Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford said that while there haven’t been any major incidents in Burton during the previous strikes, the public cannot be afford to become complacent.

He said: “We must continue to take every possible precaution to keep ourselves, and each other safe. The service will respond to all life-risk incidents and people must continue to call 999 if there is a genuine emergency.

“I would urge residents to be aware that, although we have contingency plans in place in Staffordshire, it will not be business as usual and people must act accordingly.”

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