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Strike dates announced.

Fire strikes announced
FBU announce eight strike dates Credit: ITV

The Fire Brigades Union has announced eight days of strike action this month. They are involved in a national dispute over changes to firefighters' pensions.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue service say they've put contingency plans in place to provide a level of cover during the strike periods.

The dates are:
Saturday 9 August - from 12noon to 2pm and 10.59pm to 11.59 pm Sunday 10 August - from 12noon to 2pm and 10.59pm to 11.59 pm Monday 11 August - from 12noon to 2pm and 10.59pm to 11.59 pm Tuesday 12 August - from 12noon to 2pm and 10.59pm to 11.59 pm Wednesday 13 August - from 12noon to 2pm and 10.59pm to 11.59 pm Thursday 14 August - from 12noon to 2pm and 10.59pm to 11.59 pm Friday 15 August - from 12noon to 2pm and 10.59pm to 11.59 pm Saturday 16 August - from 12noon to 2pm and 10.59pm to 11.59 pm

Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer Andy Mancey said: “We will be putting contingency arrangements in place again and we will still be answering and responding to emergency calls. However, because we will have fewer resources than usual, we will be giving priority to incidents where people’s lives are at risk, such as house fires and serious road traffic collisions.

Tickets accepted on other services as ferry row escalates

Passengers hoping to use Brittany Ferries services from Hampshire and Dorset will have their tickets accepted on rival ferry companies, as strike action in France continues to disrupt services.

Talks between the company and workers over new terms and conditions broke down, with many of the operator's ships stranded on the continent as a direct result of the action.

Poole to Cherbourg services are still sailing as scheduled since they are operated under contract by another company.

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Latest on ferry strike action

Brittany Ferries
Brittany Ferries, operating on the South coast Credit: PA Images

Brittany Ferries has just announced that it will keep its service from Poole to Cherbourg operating throughout next week in an attempt to ease the effects of the current strike.

The service was due to end on Sunday for the winter. The company says the route will give people an alternative. It will be extended to run until next Friday. It is not affected by the strike because it is run under contract by Condor Ferries who are not involved in the action.

Brittany Ferries says services from Portsmouth to Spain and France remain cancelled because of the wildcat action in France by workers angry at changes to working conditions.

Ford workers set for strike action

Ford plant, Southampton
Ford vans at Southampton Credit: Chris Ison/Press Association Images

Staff at car giant Ford are to stage a 24-hour strike in a row over pay and pensions. Unite, which represents about 1,200 white collar employees at the car maker, said the walkout will start at 6am on Monday, affecting sites across the country including Southampton.

The union said staff were "furious" at plans to close the final salary pension scheme to new starters and lower their rates of pay. Unite national officer Roger Maddison said: "Our staff members will not stand by and allow Ford to create a two-tier workforce on pay and pensions."

The Ford car plant
The Ford plant in Southampton Credit: Chris Ison/Press Association Images

He continued: "We fiercely oppose the closure of Ford's final salary scheme to new entrants because we believe ultimately Ford will try to close the entire scheme. Ford must prove that it is committed to the UK by investing in its UK workforce." More on this story, to follow.

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