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Firefighters’ strike: First of three walk-outs begins at noon

08:35 02 May 2014

Members of the Fire Brigades' Union protesting over pensions outside the gates to Downing Street last October (Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA)

Members of the Fire Brigades' Union protesting over pensions outside the gates to Downing Street last October (Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA)

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Firefighters at Havering’s four fire stations will walk out at midday today as part of a series of Bank Holiday weekend strikes over pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will down tools for five hours today, then between 2pm tomorrow and 2am on Sunday, and between 10am and 3pm on Sunday.

The action has forced the London Fire Brigade (LFB) to arrange contingency cover, consisting of 27 engines stationed strategically around the capital which will likely not attend less serious incidents such as rubbish fires, animals rescues and people stuck in lifts.

The FBU opposes changes to firefighters’ pensions which it claims are “totally unworkable, unaffordable, unsustainable and unfair”.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said the decision to strike showed the union was “not serious about finding a resolution for its members” and that the offer on the table gave firefighters “one of the most generous pension schemes in the public sector”.

Read more: Romford temporarily stripped of fire engine as brigade chiefs anticipate possible strike action and Battle to save Hornchurch’s specialist fire rescue unit lost as engine set to go off duty for last time tomorrow

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