Firefighters strike again

Firefighters at the scene of a major fire at a Furniture store on a Retail Park off Chesterfield Road,Woodseats

Firefighters at the scene of a major fire at a Furniture store on a Retail Park off Chesterfield Road,Woodseats

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Firefighters have gone on strike twice over the past week in an ongoing row about pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) downed tools on both Monday morning and Friday night for a total of four hours.

Firefighters stood outside fire stations in the Dales holding placards with messages such as ‘hands off our pensions’.

Some passing motorists honked their car horns in a show of support for the strikers. There were no major emergencies reported during the walkouts.

The Government plans to make firefighters work up to the age of 60 and argues that their pension offer is generous.

However, the FBU fears firefighters will be made redundant if they fail fitness tests and are unable to find other work in the fire service.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said there was a huge amount of public sympathy on show during the action.

He added: “Firefighters don’t want to go on strike, but we are left with no option when the Government and the employers refuse to deal with the problems of their own making.”

Friday night’s strike – which took place between 6.30pm and 11pm – came amid Bonfire Night celebrations across the county. Derbyshire fire service urged residents to attend organised bonfire displays and reconsider holding celebrations at home.

The FBU stressed the walkout had not been timed to coincide with Bonfire Night celebrations.

Firefighters previously went on strike at the end of September. Then, 32,000 union members walked out across the country.

The FBU and the national fire service employers have received independent legal advice showing regulations governing firefighter retirement must be drafted to ensure promises over job and pension protection are kept.