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New firefighters strike planned on pensions
FIREFIGHTERS in England and Wales are to stage a fresh strike in their bitter row with the Government over pensions.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union will walk out for five hours from 6.30pm on Saturday October 19 following a stoppage last month.
Union general secretary Matt Wrack said: "We had hoped our first strike was enough to show Government that firefighters could not be more serious about protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions.
"No firefighter wants to strike, and it's desperately disappointing that governments in Westminster and Cardiff continue to deny reality over pensions costs and the need for a pension scheme that reflects the job firefighters do.
"Firefighters simply cannot be expected to fight fires and rescue families in their late 50s and into their 60s.
"We hope this second strike will mean both governments will be willing to discuss the full range of concerns that firefighters and the general public have expressed.
"However, more strikes cannot be ruled out if that's what it takes to protect public and firefighter safety from these ludicrous attacks."
Firefighters in Scotland will not be taking industrial action following an offer on pensions from the Scottish Government which the union said was enough to prevent a strike "at the current time".
The FBU argues that changes to pensions and the retirement age will see thousands of firefighters lose their job "simply for getting older".
The union also maintains that firemen and women pay some of the highest pension contributions in the UK at almost 13% of their salary, with further rises due next year.
Mr Wrack added: "If governments in Westminster and Cardiff are willing to discuss these matters seriously, we would be happy to meet tomorrow or any day early next week and can provide a venue if required."
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