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Round-clock fire strike in pensions row

Striking firefighters picketing outside Washington Fire Station, Barmston on Thursday morning.

Striking firefighters picketing outside Washington Fire Station, Barmston on Thursday morning.

FIREFIGHTERS took to the picket lines as they staged their first 24-hour walk-out in a row with the Government over pensions.

Offices across Wearside and East Durham joined the nationwide action by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

The disagreement centres on plans to raise firefighters’ retirement age from 55 to 60 and increase pension contributions, with the FBU fearing many could fail the tests to remain on active duty in their late 50s, and therefore have to leave.

Dave Turner, brigade secretary for the FBU in Tyne and Wear, said fire minister Brandon Lewis was withholding research which could help resolve the issue.

He said: “They should realise they should release this research and let’s get back round the negotiating table.”

The firefighters went back to work at 9am this morning.

 

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