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Almost 80% of FBU members voted in favour of taking industrial action in a ballot that ended earlier this month; the union left the strike to the last possible moment to allow for the possibility of a negotiated settlement.
PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli says, “Safe and decent working conditions and fair wages and benefits are vital to support firefighters in doing the most dangerous work to save people in the most vulnerable situations. We call on those government employers responsible to immediately negotiate in good faith to address these essential issues. By refusing to negotiate, the employers show that they do not care about people’s safety or firefighters’ working conditions.”
FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack says, “This initial strike is a warning shot to government. Firefighters could not be more serious about protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions. Governments in Westminster and Cardiff have simply refused to see sense on these issues. It is ludicrous to expect firefighters to fight fires and rescue families in their late-50s: the lives of the general public and firefighters themselves will be endangered. None of us want a strike, but we cannot compromise on public and firefighter safety.”