Safety warning ahead of Thursday’s firefighter strike

West Yorkshire Fire Service Assistant Chief Officer Dave Walton
West Yorkshire Fire Service Assistant Chief Officer Dave Walton

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is reminding people to take extra care this Thursday (July 10) during a nine-hour period of industrial action.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is holding its fifteenth strike, which will run from 10am to 7pm, in its dispute with the Government over its public sector pension reform programme.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton called the announcement of further strike action “extremely concerning”.

He said: “We are very disappointed that we are in this position once again and are forced to divert yet more time and resources towards providing contingency arrangements.

“Contingency provisions will not provide the normal level of fire cover across West Yorkshire so I ask the public once again to take extra care and not to place any unnecessary, non-emergency demand on our reduced resources.

“We reiterate our plea for the Fire Brigades Union and the Minister to find a way to resolve this long running dispute”.

The Fire Brigades Union has been in negotiations with the Government for three years in an attempt to avoid the implementation of proposals that they say would see firefighters paying more, working longer and receiving less.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “The Government must realise that firefighters cannot accept proposals that would have such devastating consequences for their futures, their families’ futures — and the future of the fire and rescue service itself.”

Thursday’s strike will be followed by a series of 15 short strike periods between Monday, July 14, and Monday, July 21.