Halton firefighters to strike on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve

Runcorn and Widnes World: Halton firefighters to strike over Christmas and the New Year Halton firefighters to strike over Christmas and the New Year

HALTON firefighters will join forces with crews across the country to walk out on Christmas Eve and New Year’s in their ongoing national dispute over pensions.

Their next three strikes will take place from 7pm to midnight on Tuesday, December, 24, from 6.30pm on Tuesday, December 31 to 12.30am on Wednesday, January 1, and from 6.30am to 8.30am on Friday, January 3.

Firefighters are protesting over Government plans to raise their retirement age from 55 to 60.

Unions claims at least two thirds of the current workforce will face dismissal or their pension reduced by almost half because they are unable to maintain the fitness standards required by the fire service beyond the age of 55.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigade Union, said: “Firefighters provide a first-class standard of service 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, and these strikes will remind government just how reliant they are on our members’ professionalism, commitment and flexibility.

“However, there should be no need for industrial action, and it’s absurd that firefighters’ concerns over pensions have not been addressed already.

“The Government must stop claiming they are negotiating when they have refused to talk for two months and insist on forcing through proposals that are unaffordable, unworkable and unfair.

“By simply conceding common sense and allowing firefighters a fair deal, the government could end this industrial action today.”

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