Firefighters will go on strike on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve over an on-going dispute over pensions.
The Fire Brigades Union announced today (Monday) that its members in England and Wales will strike from 7pm to midnight on December 24, from 6.30pm on December 31 to 12.30am on January 1 and from 6.30am to 8.30am on January 3.
Lincolnshire, Rutland, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire services are all expected to be affected.
The strike is a reaction to the Government’s plan to raise the pension age for firefighters from 55 to 60.
The Fire Brigades Union fears the plans will put lives at risk.
It claims firefighters will be forced to work longer than they are physically able to, or will have to retire early without a pension.
Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack, said: “Firefighters provide a first-class standard of service 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, and these strikes will remind the government just how reliant they are on our members’ professionalism, commitment and flexibility.
“However, there should be no need for industrial action, and it’s absurd that firefighters’ concerns over pensions have not been addressed already.”
As with previous strikes, on the three dates all Fire Brigade Union members in England and Wales will stop work apart from those working in control centres.
However, on top of these strike periods — the seventh, eighth and ninth to take place — on Christmas Eve all members in Scotland and those working in control centres across England, Scotland and Wales will refuse to work voluntary overtime, meaning every firefighter in the three nations will be taking part in industrial action together for the first time.