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Staffordshire fire chief ‘pleased’ at decision to call off industrial action

A planned strike by firefighters has been called off.

The industrial action would have seen crews across Lichfield and Burntwood walk out for four hours tomorrow evening (October 19).

But the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) has called off the strike – a move that has been welcomed by Staffordshire’s chief fire officer Peter Dartford.

“We are pleased that the FBU has called off the strike tomorrow as any industrial action puts a strain on our ability to respond to emergency calls.

“It will be business as usual in Staffordshire with crews at their normal capacity. However, our safety messages still stand. I would still urge people to test their smoke alarms every week, to check electrical items, to always extinguish smoking materials and not to leave the room while you are cooking food.

“The nights are also drawing in now which makes driving more of a risk. Motorists should always wear a seatbelt, never talk on a mobile phone while on the move and never drink and drive.”

A four-hour strike previously took place on September 25.

The FBU said the strike had been changed after “last minute shifts in stated positions”.

The union said that a letter had been received which could lead to better employment protection for firefighters.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary said: “The Fire Minister has said that the proposal from the employers removes the threat of ‘no job, no pension’.

“Firefighters will have serious concerns about this claim and will want cast iron guarantees that this will be addressed properly.

“The FBU has temporally postponed the planned strike to enable these guarantees to be firmed up.

“However, there are a number of important and unresolved elements of our dispute and we need to be clear that we may have to resort to further strike action.””

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