Socialist Worker

Pensions battle in the fire stations is back on as workers prepare for strikes

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2401

Firefighters in England and Wales were set to walk out over the bank holiday weekend in a row over Tory attacks on their pensions.

And Tory fire minister Brandon Lewis wants to make it easier to sack any firefighter whose fitness declines before the proposed retirement age of 60.

The latest action follows strikes on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.

“It’s good to have the action back on,” Simon Hickman, an FBU rep at Agecroft station in greater Manchester told Socialist Worker.

“But the union has been in talks with the government since then, and it has not budged.

“We can’t just have a stop and start campaign. We need solid strikes to hit the government hard.”

There will also be a ban on voluntary overtime in England and Wales from Sunday of this week to 9 May.

Workers in Scotland haven’t been part of the recent strikes as the union said it had received an improved pension proposal. But they will take part in the overtime ban.

“The Tories seem happy to let this dispute run,” said Simon. “These strikes are a good start—but we have to escalate.”


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