December 9 2013 Latest news:
Friday, November 1, 2013
London Fire Brigade is urging the public to avoid attempting firework displays at home tonight.
A national strike action by firefighters means people are advised to attend organised bonfire events instead.
The entire professional force of London Fire Brigade is going on strike from 6.30pm to 11pm.
Cover is very reduced, with 27 engines operating in London.
According to the Fire Brigade Union there are normally 175 engines; but this was disputed a London Fire Brigade spokesman who said the figure was 169. Fire safety officer and north-east London health and safety representative for the Fire Brigades Union, Jim Wennell, 47, said the strike is about pensions.
He said: “We pay nearly 14 per cent into a pension and most fire-fighters will do 30 years with a retirement age of 55. This has been upped to 60.
“The main contention is you need to be quite fit and once you get to 55 it’s hard to meet those standards. If we don’t we could get sacked” he said.
“Most of the public appreciate their fire-fighters and realise this is a last resort. We have been negotiating for two years and have come to the natural end of the process. The aim is to get the government to have some meaningful discussions.”
The London Fire Brigade advise people take precautions with putting cigarettes out, cooking and leaving candles unattended.
Further strike action is planned on Monday for 6am to 8am.