ANGRY West Yorkshire firefighters have voted in a ballot on industrial action.
And it is thought most are in favour of a strike, which could be as early as September 7 after the collapse of latest pay talks.
The Fire Brigades Union says that after more than 130 hours of negotiations, local authority employers `scuppered' a deal after agreements had been reached.
The FBU said talks over bank holiday working led to the breakdown.
Sean Cahill, brigade secretary for the FBU's West Yorkshire branch, which has 1,800 members, said ballot papers had been sent out on Wednesday and most had been returned almost immediately. The ballot runs until August 31.
He said: "The feeling among members is of extreme anger at the tactics of the employers.
"Firefighters have no difficulties with bank holiday working. It's a red herring. Whenever we reach some sort of solution they scupper it. We accepted the agreement and they changed their minds."
About 52,000 members of the FBU nationally have been sent ballot papers, raising the threat of a walkout next month.
That would bring military Green Goddess vehicles back on to the streets to provide fire cover.
The union says the employers had turned a "shambles into a crisis" after a deal to pay firefighters a 3.5% rise from last November and another 4.2% from last month was scuppered at the last minute.
The FBU is unhappy about employers wanting bank holidays to be treated as a normal working day.
Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, chairman of the Local Government Association, said it was hard to see any justification by the unions for not accepting the offer. He said it meant that for being available to work on public holidays, while getting paid double and gaining a day's extra holiday, firefighters would receive another 3.5% rise.