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Firefighters strike over pensions and retirement age
2:00pm Thursday 26th September 2013 in Harwich and Manningtree News
FIREFIGHTERS went out on strike following a row over pensions and retirement age.
Members of the Fire Brigades’ Union claim lives will be put in danger if firefighters are expected to carry on until they are 60.
And they are angry that despite contributing more to pension funds than other public sector workers they are now being told to work 40 years rather than 30 before they can get a full pension.
A source close to the fire service also claimed Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, unlike other parts of the country, refused to allow firefighters back into stations to respond if there was a major incident ignoring a national agreement.
And claims were made some communities, such as Wivenhoe, were left without fire cover for 31 hours - not just the four hours for the strike - because engines were taken early and returned late to provide cover in other areas.
Fire cover throughout the four hours was provided across alternative sites while the fire stations were closed.