Ahead of the start of today’s strike by the Fire Brigades Union, London Assembly Labour Group Fire Spokesperson, Fiona Twycross AM, said:
“It is deeply disappointing that we have got to this position, but it seems clear that the Government is set on escalating this dispute. Formally tabling changes to firefighters’ pensions in Parliament this week appears to be a deliberately provocative action at a time when all sides should be focused on negotiating.
“The Government’s own evidence clearly shows that the physical strain of a firefighter’s work means they are unlikely to be able to work beyond fifty-five. It is therefore unsurprising that the Government’s plans to make firefighters work until they’re sixty or have their pension cut, has little support.
“Whilst the public will rightly be concerned about the impact of the strike, it is equally clear that firefighters, who spend their lives protecting the public, would not take this action lightly. With the strike not set to start until this evening, I strongly urge all parties to urgently get back around the negotiating table so that this strike can be avoided.”