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Firefighters to strike next week in row over pensions
FIREFIGHTERS are to strike for four hours next week in a row over pensions, the Fire Brigades Union said.
Almost 80 per cent voted in favour of industrial action in a ballot that ended earlier this month.
Union officials had left the strike to the last possible moment to allow for the possibility of a negotiated settlement.
The strike will take place next Wednesday, September 25.
Earlier this year, members of the public were asked to take on the role of firefighters if strike action went ahead.
The emergency call was made by Ian Hayton, chief fire officer for Cleveland Fire Brigade.
The Government has said it will no longer send in the Army to help during a strike and the green goddess military fire engines are no longer available.
At the time, Durham and Darlington Fire Brigade said it would be able to offer a reduced service with professional firemen and women, North Yorkshire Fire Brigade said it would be able to deploy retained firefighters and the Tyne and Wear brigade was contacting recently retired firefighters.
Cleveland is one of the highest risk areas in the country with a large number of industrial centres. About 95 per cent of firemen and women in Cleveland are in the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and Mr Hayton said he had to take emergency measures.
He said he hoped to have about 30 trained, professional firefighters available to lead the auxiliaries during a strike.
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