UK & World News
Firefighters To Strike For Eight Days Running
Firefighters in England and Wales are to strike over eight consecutive days as a result of their long-running pensions row.
The industrial action, which starts on July 14, will take place for between two and four hours a day throughout the strike period.
The Fire Brigades Union said it had decided to escalate action as current proposals on pensions and later retirement age were "unacceptable, unworkable and unrealistic".
The FBU has been negotiating with the Government for three years over plans to change the fire service's pension scheme.
The union says firefighters will end up paying more, working longer and receiving less.
The Government says the deal gives firefighters one of the most generous pension schemes in the public sector.
Justifying the strike, FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack said: "The Government must realise that firefighters cannot accept proposals that would have such devastating consequences for their futures, their families' futures - and the future of the fire and rescue service itself.
"We have tried every route available to us to make the Government see sense over their attacks.
"Three years of negotiations have come to nothing because the Government is simply unwilling to compromise or even listen to reason despite a huge amount of evidence showing their planned scheme is unworkable.
"Shorter strike periods have illustrated the strength of feeling among firefighters whilst limiting disruption to the fire service, the public and our members' working lives.
"But the Government is merely ploughing ahead, forcing firefighters to react."
FBU members in Wales and England are also intending to join a huge strike by more than a million public sector workers next Thursday.