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Christmas Eve fire strike passes without incident
A STRIKE by Swindon’s firefighters on Christmas Eve has passed with no serious incidents being reported.
Crews at Drove Road, Stratton and Westlea fire stations, as well as others across the county, walked out between 7pm and midnight, with cover being provided by retained firefighters.
The only two callouts in Swindon were false alarms which were attended by a resilience vehicle operating in the town. There were several other false alarms in Wiltshire as well as a car crash near Melksham.
Members of the Fire Brigade’s Union throughout the country held what was the seventh strike since September in a dispute with the government over plans to raise the retirement age and increase pension contributions.
Brent Thorley, the Wiltshire Secretary of the FBU, said: “Once again the FBU Members in Wiltshire have shown a united front against the Government’s attempts to impose a pension scheme that independent reviews have stated will be unfair and un-sustainable.
“Hopefully common sense will prevail and if the Government engage in meaningful discussions that allow Firefighters a fair deal we could end this industrial action.
“The recent storms have once again shown what a vital service we provide. In some parts of the country which were still severely affected by the flood, firefighters voluntarily went back to work to help.
“This should remind the Government just how reliant they are on Firefighters and the valuable service they provide to the public.”
Further strikes have been announced for the evening of December 31 and for two hours on the morning of January 3.