Striking crews give emergency cover
03 Jan 2014
Firefighters in England and Wales have once again pledged to provide major emergency cover during the latest strike in their long-running dispute with the Government over pensions.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) staged the ninth stoppage since September, a two-hour walkout which began at 6.30 am. But they were prepared to return to work if there was a major emergency which might lead to large numbers of people being put at serious risk.
The FBU said its "return to work" agreement demonstrated how firefighters had adopted a responsible attitude throughout the dispute because they do not want to place members of the public at risk.
On Christmas Eve, fire crews taking strike action in Kent and Surrey attended storm-related floods and damage.
The return of Kent and Surrey firefighters to work on Christmas Eve makes a mockery of claims made by a tiny minority of commentators that striking firefighters are irresponsible, said FBU general secretary Matt Wrack.
He said support on the picket lines "suggests the public understands that we cannot stand by and let this pension theft continue".
Mr Wrack called on Government ministers to table a realistic offer "instead of the unworkable proposals they continue to peddle".
Copyright Press Association 2014