Mammoth public sector strike grows as Fire Brigades Union joins mass walkout

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FIREFIGHTERS are to join a huge one-day strike by public sector workers next week in a series of bitter disputes with the Government over pay and other issues.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in Hartlepool, East Durham, and across the country, will walk out on Thursday, July 10, joining a million council and health workers, teachers and civil servants who are also set to stage a walk-out.

The strike will be the biggest over pay since the coalition Government came to power, with plans for further strikes later in the year.

The FBU has been embroiled in a long-running row with the Government over controversial plans to change pensions and the retirement age of firefighters.

A series of strikes have been held over the past year, but the dispute remains deadlocked.

The FBU strike will last between 10am and 7pm and will be the 15th in the firefighters’ campaign.

The union is also expected to announce further action later this week.

Cleveland Fire Brigade has reassured Hartlepool residents that their safety is still a top priority.

A spokesman said: “The safety of our communities is, and always will be our number one priority, and I can reassure that public we will provide a professional emergency response throughout any period of disruption.”

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “We are therefore proud to take strike action alongside our colleagues in other unions on July 10.

“The fact that this Government has united so many workers to take strike action against them is a testament to the failure of their policies.

“If they won’t listen and won’t negotiate, then this is the result and they should face more of the same if necessary.”

The firefighters’ dispute has dragged on since last year, with the FBU maintaining that firefighters are facing the imposition of a pension that ignores the physical demands of their job.

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