August 2 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Fire brigades will be stretched on two days across Suffolk and Essex following an announcement of industrial action.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will go on strike on Thursday for 24 hours because of the long-running dispute with the Government over pensions.
A further strike will take place on Saturday June 21, between 10am-5pm.
The 24-hour stoppage – which coincides with the start of the World Cup – is the longest to be held in the union’s three-year campaign, which has already seen 12 separate strikes.
The union is protesting at changes to firefighters’ pensions and a later retirement age.
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack accused fire minister Brandon Lewis of “burying his head in the sand”. He said: “He must accept that firefighters simply will not give up fighting for their futures, and our fire and rescue service.
“Concerns over these unworkable proposals remain as valid and grave as ever, and the Government has ignored all the evidence, including its own reports.”
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “By disrupting constructive discussions and an open consultation with further strike action the FBU has once again shown the country it is not serious about finding a resolution.
“The Government has made clear that a way forward can be reached, but not under the shadow of industrial action, which only serves to damage firefighters’ standing with the public.”
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service will have reduced cover at these times and encourage residents to be extra vigilant and take care during the strike periods.