Firefighters are set to strike in the ongoing pension dispute on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) announced the plans today that will include fire crews throughout the UK.
Strikes will take place between 7pm and midnight on Tuesday December 24 and 6.30pm to 12.30am Tuesday December 31 in to New Year’s Day.
A further strike is set for 6.30am until 8.30am on Friday January 3.
FBU general secretary, Matt Wrack, said: “Firefighters provide a first-class standard of service 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, and these strikes will remind government just how reliant they are on our members’ professionalism, commitment and flexibility.
“However, there should be no need for industrial action, and it’s absurd that firefighters’ concerns over pensions have not been addressed already.
“The government must stop claiming they are negotiating when they have refused to talk for two months and insist on forcing through proposals that are unaffordable, unworkable and unfair.
“By simply conceding common sense and allowing firefighters a fair deal, the government could end this industrial action today.”
As with previous strikes, on the three dates all FBU members in England and Wales will stop work apart from those working in control centres.
However, on top of these strike periods — the seventh, eighth and ninth to take place — on Christmas Eve all members in Scotland and those working in control centres across England, Scotland and Wales will refuse to work voluntary overtime, meaning every firefighter in the three nations will be taking part in industrial action together for the first time.
Firefighters’ pension schemes are amongst the most expensive for workers anywhere in the public or private sector, but amongst the cheapest proportionally for the government.