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Firefighters go on strike again in pensions row
Surrey firefighters staged strikes on Friday evening and this morning amid a row with the Government over pensions.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) walked out between 6.30pm and 11pm on Friday and between 6am and 8am today.
Private rescue firm Specialist Group International (SGI) provided contingency crews to make up numbers during the strikes.
An Epsom firefighter confirmed that a picket line was formed at Epsom fire station this morning.
Richard Jones, brigade secretary for Surrey FBU, said he had been informed that there was a picket line at Leatherhead fire station on Friday evening.
Mr Jones said: "The strike was well supported across the county. Our main aim is to get the Government back to the negotiating table."
He said the dates were chosen to avoid bonfire night as well as the Saturdays before and after. He added: "I think it was well worked out to not put the public at risk."
When Surrey firefighters walked out for four hours in September, they were banned from working the rest of their nine-hour shifts.
But this time around Surrey County Council allowed firefighters to work as normal before and after going on strike.
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: "If the Government is serious about firefighters being protected from being sacked without access to their pensions as it claims to be, why won’t it draft the pension regulations accordingly?
"We have even made it easy for them by providing the necessary wording following legal advice.
"The threat of firefighters facing the sack without access to a full pension as they get older is only one aspect of our campaign, but discussions could move forward quite easily with this simple step."
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