Firefighters 24-Hour Strike Action

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FIREFIGHTERS in England have announced a further 24 hour strike to take place next Tuesday in the escalating battle over pensions.

However no strike action was called in Scotland and Wales due to ‘ongoing negotiations’.

The strike will take place from 9.00am on Tuesday 9th December.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: ‘Firefighters in England are reluctantly calling further strike action today as a direct result of the Westminster government’s failure to listen and negotiate over pensions.

‘Firefighters are asking the Westminster government to immediately open genuine negotiations to resolve this dispute. They should also hold a House of Commons debate to fully scrutinise the legislation and there should be a parliamentary vote on the regulations.

‘We need to be clear. We are not going to give up or go away. Firefighters will fight for however long it takes to secure a fair pensions deal – this dispute will not end as long as the regulations remain unchanged.’

In Aylesbury a demonstration has been called to coincide with the strike on Tuesday 9th December.

It is a protest against the victimisation of FBU union members by Buckinghamshire fire authority, including the victimisation of Ricky Matthews who was sacked for coming out on strike.

The demonstration is assembling at Oakfield Road Park in Aylesbury at 11.30am and marching to Aylesbury Town Centre, Buckinghamshire.

Jamie Newell, FBU member from Region 9 Eastern and East Anglia, told News Line: ‘The Bucks fire chief made a call that any members that took strike action in Bucks, that that strike action would be unlawful.

‘When Ricky Matthews took strike action during the national strike he was dismissed. It is another example of an attack on the trade unions’ right to strike.

‘It is an infringement of the human rights of firefighters in the UK fire and rescue service. Without doubt Ricky Matthews must be reinstated.’

‘There were a number of us who felt that strike action should be taken. Ricky is not the only member in Bucks who has suffered victimisation.

‘There needs to be a local dispute, but that is up to Bucks to decide. It sets a dangerous precedent for other trade unions if the dispute concerning Ricky is not resolved.

‘Other unions have to take a close look at what is going on because it has implications for them – the TUC must call some action over this.’

Cerith Griffiths Regional secretary for Wales told News Line: ‘Although we are not taking part in this strike action in Wales we will certainly be there standing shoulder to shoulder with our English counterparts on the demonstration to defend Ricky Matthews.’