Bexley firefighters join national strike
PUBLISHED: 13:04 25 September 2013 | UPDATED: 13:10 25 September 2013
Bexley firefighters have gone on strike for four hours this afternoon in a dispute over pensions.
The national strike, which started at noon and finishes at 4pm, is in response to changes the Fire Brigade Union says will mean firefighters will have to work longer, pay more into their pensions and receive less in retirement.
The union also argued the move will see firefighters having to work on frontline duties until they are 60.
Simon Chapman, the union representative for south-east London, said: “All we want is a fair deal from the government.
“If you’re family are in danger in a fire you don’t want three 60 year olds turning up - you want to see longer, fitter firefighters. To force us to work on the frontline until we’re 60 is ridiculous.
“It seems like we’re getting pushed into a corner. I’m not sure what this strike will achieve but it shows the public how we feel.”
The government has maintained that the changes were fair and would still give firemen and women decent pensions when they retire.
The brigade will still attend serious incidents but may not be able to attend to serious incidents, such as floods and automatic alarms.
Mr Chapman added: “This is the third strike I’ve been involved with in my 27 years with the brigade and I never want to strike.”
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