Fenland firefighters stage four day strike

Picket line at Wisbech Fire Station ANL-140311-114409001
Picket line at Wisbech Fire Station ANL-140311-114409001

Firefighters staged a four-day strike in the run up to Bonfire Night as part of an ongoing dispute with the government over pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) in Fenland walked out at 6pm on Friday, and were due to return to work yesterday evening.

The union’s main issue is that if a firefighter cannot remain fit to work due to ageing before they turn 60, they face dismissal and then have to wait until they are 67 to access their pension.

Secretary of the Wisbech, March and District Trades Union Council, Sue Dockett, who joined the picket line at Wisbech Fire Station, said: “None of the union members want to be on strike – they just want the government to negotiate with their trade union in good faith. We all know the valuable work the Fire and Rescue Service carries out and earns our respect and praise. However, what firefighters don’t deserve is the sack as a reward for long service. That is what the Government is proposing and the firefighters deserve our support.”

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said contingency plans were in place to ensure 999 calls were responded to during the strike.

Among the calls dealt with were a car fire just after 6pm on Friday in Marina Drive, March, and a road traffic collision at 10.20pm in Barton Road, Wisbech, at which firefighters had to use specialist cutting equipment to release one casualty.