UK firefighters prepare to strike

Members of the Fire Brigades Union in the UK have backed walkouts by a majority of 88%, with a turnout of 73%.

Both firefighters and control room staff have opted for strike action – set to begin on February 9 – over pay, after rejecting a below-inflation 5% pay offer in November 2022.

If the government and employers do not come forward with an improved offer, the industrial action will be the first UK-wide fire strike in 20 years.

Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said: “Firefighters across the UK have spoken. The Fire Brigades Union has a decisive mandate for strike action.

“This is an overwhelming vote for strike action against an offer which would mean further significant cuts to real terms wages for firefighters and control room staff.

“They have already lost at least 12% of the value of their pay since 2010. This is an absolute last resort for our members. The responsibility for any disruption to services lies squarely with fire service employers and government ministers.”

In preparation for the potential strike action, fire services are thought to be training up office staff who will be used as back-up to help deal with emergency call-outs.

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