On Wednesday, between noon and 4pm, picket lines will go up across Salford's fire stations as firefighters go on strike against ConDem Government proposals to make them work longer, and to pay more for their pensions.
"Expecting large numbers of fire fighters in their late 50s to fight fires and rescue families is not just ludicrous: it's dangerous to the public and to firefighters" states the Fire Brigade Union "The Government is simply ignoring all the evidence - even their own – about the physical demands of fire fighting and has been unable to answer our concerns during two years of negotiations.
"The Government's proposals could mean mass sackings as thousands of firefighters become older and are no longer fit enough to do the job" it adds "Firefighters, who already pay some of the highest contributions in the public or private sector, would also be expected to pay an average of 13.2% of their salary and would have one of the worst ratios of contributions between employer and employee. This is not the deal we signed up for.
"None of us want a strike, but we cannot compromise on public and firefighter safety" it concludes "We hope common sense prevails, and the Government returns to the negotiating table."
The firefighters have chosen a good week for their action, with the Conservative Party Conference happening in Manchester at the same time. Let's hope their conference centre doesn't go up in flames during the strike…
Messages of support to Salford and Greater Manchester's fighters should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Salford Firefighters' Strike
Wednesday 25th September 12noon-4pm