Firefighters stage third day of strikes

Firefighters staged a third day of strikes amid a long-running dispute with the Government over pensions, with support for the walkouts said to be as strong as ever.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in England and Wales walked out at 10am for five hours following stoppages over the past two days.

It's very disappointing that we've been forced to hold another three days of strikes but nothing will deflect firefighters' resolve when the future of their families - and the fire and rescue service itself - is at stake. Just like the current bout of industrial action, future strikes could be avoided simply by the Government honouring current pension promises...

– Matt Wrack, General Secretary, FBU

Fire authorities made alternative arrangements for fire cover during the strikes, including hiring contractors or using part-time and retained firefighters.

The FBU maintains that firefighters are having to pay higher pension contributions, face working into their late 50s before retiring and could be sacked because their fitness declines as they get older.