FIREFIGHTERS from Hartlepool took part in industrial action in a national strike which lasted for five hours yesterday.
The crews from Stranton station protested outside out of the Stockton Street base as part of a walkout arranged by members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).
Members of the FBU in England and Wales walked out between 12pm-5pm, and will strike again between 2pm today, and 2am in the morning, and then again between 10am-3pm on Sunday.
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “We’re astonished that the Government would allow strikes to continue when for over a month they have been sitting on proposals that might point the way towards a solution.
“Nevertheless firefighters simply want a workable pension scheme and an end to this dispute and the existence of such proposals gives us hope that an end might be in sight,” he added.
The union said 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.
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “It was the union executive’s decision to call this strike that effectively ended its discussions with the Government.”