Firefighters in England and Wales will join hundreds of thousands of other public sector workers taking strike action on Thursday 10 July, the Fire Brigades Union has announced.
The long-running dispute over firefighters’ pensions will see a further day of strikes at the same time as a walk out by local government workers, teachers and civil servants over a range of issues, including attacks on pay and pensions and workloads.
The strike will last between 10am and 7pm and will be the fifteenth in the FBU’s campaign. The union is also expected to announce further action later this week.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “The FBU has wanted to settle our dispute for a long time, but the government at Westminster is simply not listening. We are therefore proud to take strike action alongside our colleagues in other unions on 10 July.
“The fact that this government has united so many workers to take strike action against them is a testament to the failure of their policies. They are destroying our public services and wrecking the lives of millions. If they won’t listen and won’t negotiate then this is the result — and they should face more of the same if necessary.”
It is estimated that as many as two million workers will take strike action.
The firefighters’ dispute has continued for months as the FBU says firefighters are facing the imposition of a pension that ignores the physical demands of the job they do.
Wrack said, “Despite endless assurances they have done precisely nothing to address the threat to firefighters as their fitness declines in their 50s. Firefighting is a dangerous and physically demanding job which requires specific fitness standards. It is obvious to everyone that it is more and more difficult to meet those standards in your 50s compared to your 20s. Firefighters in that position face a stark choice of being sacked or losing half their pension.
The FBU recently launched a legal challenge against the government’s proposals, saying they have received legal advice that reducing the pensions available to firefighters by different amounts depending on when they retire after 55 amounts to age discrimination.
Firefighters were last on strike on Saturday 21 June.