TRADE unionists from throughout the North-East will converge on Newcastle tomorrow to show their support for firefighters during their pay dispute.

A TUC spokesman said all trade unions were united in their support for the firefighters and that the event would bolster the strong stand being taken by the Fire Brigades Union.

Speakers will include FBU national officer Geoff Ellis and regional executive Alan McClean, Unison regional secretary Gill Hale, and Northern TUC vice-chairman Kevin Curran.

TUC regional secretary Kevin Rowan said: "Trade unions in the North are exasperated by the way the Government has interfered and undermined the chance of resolving this dispute.

"There is a clear case for improving the pay and conditions of fire-fighters and the TUC will be doing all that it can to achieve a fair resolution to this dispute."

The FBU rally starts at the Haymarket, Newcastle, at noon.