Bexley firefighters to strike for five hours
PUBLISHED: 16:09 11 October 2013 | UPDATED: 16:09 11 October 2013
Firefighters in Bexley will strike over pensions again next week, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced.
Residents have been advised to take extra care during the national strike, which will be from 6.30pm to 11.30pm on Saturday, October 19.
It follows the September 25 walkout, and is a response to changes the FBU says will result in firefighters working for longer, paying more into their pensions and receiving less in retirement.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “We had hoped our first strike was enough to show government that firefighters could not be more serious about protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions.
“No firefighter wants to strike, and it’s desperately disappointing that the government continue to deny reality over pension costs and the need for a pension scheme that reflects the job firefighters do.
“Firefighters simply cannot be expected to fight fires and rescue families in their late 50s and into their 60s.
“We hope this second strike will mean the government will be willing to discuss the full range of concerns firefighters and the general public have expressed.
“However, more strikes cannot be ruled out if that’s what it takes to protect public and firefighter safety from these ludicrous attacks.”
Bexley has three fire stations in Erith Road, Bexley; Erith Road, Erith and Main Road, Sidcup.
Ron Dobson, London fire commissioner, today said the London Fire Brigade is prepared for further strike action from the Fire Brigades’ Union.
He said: “We are as prepared as ever to deal with this next round of strike action. It’s a shame that further action is being taken, but our contingency plan will kick in and we will be ready to deal with emergencies.
“There will be 27 fire engines based at strategic points across London, ready to provide an emergency back-up fire service. They won’t deal with minor incidents like bin fires or automatic fire alarms, but will attend serious emergencies like large fires and road traffic accidents.
“Once again, our advice is to take extra care to prevent fires at home. Simple steps like ensuring your hob is switched off and cigarettes are properly extinguished can make all the difference.”
During the four hour strike in September, the London Fire Brigade received 84 999 calls and Emergency Fire Contingency Crews (EFCC) attended eight incidents in the capital.