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Firefighters forge picket lines in protest over pensions
11:00am Tuesday 5th November 2013 in News
FIREFIGHTERS across the county held a two-hour strike yesterday morning.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) formed picket lines at stations including Rewley Road and The Slade between 6am and 8am.
It was their second walk out in three days, with 400 members of the union also striking between 6.30pm to 11pm last Friday.
The action, which was part of a wider protest across England and Wales, was called over concerns about changes to working conditions which could see the retirement age of firefighters rise from 55 to 60 and force them out of work if they fail a fitness test.
During yesterday’s strike there were no emergency calls made to the fire service.
On Friday, two calls were made, but both were false alarms.
The Slade’s FBU branch chairman Chris Smith, 40, said: “I signed up to the fire service 20 years ago and I signed up to a 30-year pension.
“But because of this, unfortunately, I will have to do a further 10 years until I am 60 which will mean paying an extra £50,000 in total.”
The father-of-two said: “As well as the ambiguity, I am concerned as my future is in jeopardy.
“When I signed up 20 years ago, I thought I had a law-abiding contract, so this is somewhat disappointing.”
Further strike action has not been ruled out by the FBU – and details have not yet been confirmed whether any action would be across the board or limited.
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