Further fire strikes planned


FIREFIGHTERS in Wigan are set for further strikes over the festive period as a leading union has announced industrial action over pensions.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) staged their fifth and sixth strikes at the weekend and have more planned on December 24 and 30 and January 3.

The union has been in a bitter dispute with the Government over plans that will see retirement age rise from 55 to 60.

Although Fire Minister Brandon Lewis MP has maintained that the pensions are among the best in the public sector.

Back up crews have been in operation across Greater Manchester during the strike hours in recent months.

In Wigan borough, there have been no significant incidents during the strikes.

Officers are allowed to return to work should a major incident occur, the union has said.

FBU secretary Matt Wrack said: “The Government has refused to talk for two months and insist on forcing through proposals that are unaffordable, unworkable and unfair.”

Mr Lewis MP had said that the strikes “damage the good reputation of firefighters with the public”.