Firefighters on strike in Cornwall
Firefighters in Cornwall will be on strike on the weekend closest to bonfire night, it has been confirmed.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) voted in favour of a national strike over proposed pension reforms.
Cornwall Council, which runs the fire service in the county, said it will do “everything it can” to keep the public safe during the strike.
The dispute centres around a government desire to raise the retirement age for firefighters to 60.
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Tim Edwards, chairman of the FBU in Cornwall, said: “We don’t agree it’s reasonable for frontline firefighters to be manning appliances at 60 year of age.
“You are putting the public and firefighters themselves at risk because of the demands of the job.
Brandon Lewis MP, the minister responsible for the fire service, said the decision by the FBU to carry out strikes at this time of year was “deeply saddening”.
In an open letter to Matt Wrack, the FBU general secretary, he said: “...you have called strike action at the start of Diwali and the Bonfire season. This is unworthy of a major emergency service union.”
A spokesman for the council said: “Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service will continue to respond to 999 calls and will do everything it can to keep the public safe, including during any national fire strike.”
The strike will take place on Friday from 6.30pm to 11pm and on Monday from 6am to 8am.