Update: Fire strike sees FBU protest outside MP’s office and march on Great Yarmouth seafront
14:31 21 June 2014
Norfolk firefighters are taking strike action for the second time in two weeks as a national dispute over pension pay continues.
Today’s strike, from 10am to 5pm, will see reduced services around the county. This afternoon about 50 firefighters left the picket lines to take the protest to the constituency office of fire minister Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth.
The Fire Brigade Union (FBU) members gathered outside Mr Lewis’s office in Gorleston and, later today, plan to march on Yarmouth seafront to coincide with a Conservative party ‘road trip’ campaign event organised by the MP.
Kev Game, secretary of the FBU in Norfolk, said: “Firefighters want to see a resolution to the pensions dispute. We thought we’d better take the talks straight to Mr Lewis, here on home turf.”
Mr Game said the pension dispute, which has seen firefighters go on strike 14 times so far, is the result of the Westminster government’s attempts to drive through proposals that could see firefighters losing part of their pensions as they reach their late 50s and have to retire.
“We want the minister to understand the strength of feeling we have toward his unfair and unaffordable proposals which will completely change the terms firefighters signed up to years ago,” said Mr Game,
On Twitter this morning, Mr Lewis said: “During fire strike later today, be safe & if you have an emergency dial 999 and you will get an emergency response.”
The MP has met with FBU executives in recent weeks and said he had invited local union members to meet ahead of today’s industrial action.