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Firefighter strike support 'solid'

Firefighters will strike for a third day in a row over a long-running dispute with the Government over pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in England and Wales ended their latest 12-hour walkout at 2am, but will begin a further stoppage between 10am and 3pm today.

It follows a five-hour strike on Friday.

Fire authorities made alternative arrangements for fire cover, including hiring contractors or using part-time and retained firefighters.

No major incidents were reported during the industrial action.

The union said the strikes were solidly supported, showing the determination of firefighters to continue with their campaign.

The FBU maintains that firefighters are having to pay higher pension contributions, face working into their late 50s before retiring, and could be sacked because their fitness declines as they get older.

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government said: "The deal on the table gives firefighters one of the most generous pension schemes in all the public sector, and the proposals protect the earned rights of a higher proportion of members than any other public sector scheme.

"Nearly three-quarters will see no change in their pension age in 2015."

The Government denied union claims that ministers had drawn up alternative proposals six weeks ago, but had been "sitting" on them ever since.

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