Tag Archive for pension

Solidarity with firefighters on strike

Members of the Fire Brigade Union took strike action on Wednesday for 4 hours against government plans to force them to work longer (until 60), pay more into their pension and get less money when they retire.
FBU have made it clear that firefighters do not want to take strike action but feel they have no choice in order to defend the service – many people do not have the same fitness level at the age of 60 as they do at the age of 30 and so public safety can be compromised if firefighters have to work longer.
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Around 45 firefighters impressively marched out of Nottinghamshire Central firestation in formation. Members of the public were coming up to the picket line to sign their ‘visitors book’ and bus drivers were honking their horns in support as they drove past.
One striker summed up the mood on the picket line when he said “The government is trying to pick us off one by one, we need to all be out together”. Many firefighters knew teachers who are preparing for strike action next week in the East Midlands and referred to other possible strikes and could see the need for co-ordinating that action.

Aslef strike remains 100% solid

Train drivers in the Aslef union took their 6th day of strike action today against attacks to their pensions by employer East Midlands Trains. In Nottingham, the strike has been 100% solid meaning that trains have been cancelled, with the few that are running been driven by managers!

East Midlands Trains are planning to lower both the employer and employee contributions to the pension scheme, meaning that it will be worth less. Aslef estimates that this will give the company a £2.1m windfall until the next valuation in 2013.

This short term view of the pension scheme by East Midlands Trains is because they may not be running the franchise in a couple of years. Aslef members are striking to protect the current pensions scheme.

Aslef have been trying to resolve this with the employer for nearly a year but East Midlands Trains are refusing to listen.

RMT (the rail workers union) have today started balloting for strike action by their members on East Midlands Trains. There is the possibility of co-ordinated action between these two unions, and possibly UNITE, in the near future.

I spoke to local Aslef rep at Nottingham station, Andy, who said:

“We’ve had a lot of support from both the public and the RMT members in the station. I think people understand that we are just trying to defend the pensions we’ve worked hard for. Our conference raised £1200 for our fighting fund and we also received a donation from the RMT.

“East Midlands Trains are trying to divide us but it won’t work. We’re hoping for co-ordinated action to push them back and defend everybody’s pensions.”