Firefighters were back at work today – Bonfire Night – following a four day strike over their pensions which ended at 6pm yesterday.
During the final day of the strike action West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service say they deal with 45 calls and attended 27 incidents.
In Huddersfield this involved two fire engines attending Elizabeth Street, Primrose Hill, where the roof void was on fire. No-one required rescuing or was hurt.
There was one fatality during the action in West Yorkshire when a 63-year-old man died following a road traffic collision involving a flatbed van at Sainsbury’s local, Barnsley Road, South Elmsall.
Three fire engines attended along with a number of fully qualified non-striking firefighters as well as community response operatives – trained volunteers.
David Williams, Yorkshire and Humberside Fire Brigades Union secretary, said he was angry better deals had been offered to firefighters in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales but not to English ones.
He said: “The strike has been incredibly well-supported by our members in West Yorkshire.”
He said he was hopeful that an Early Day Motion sponsored by Hilary Benn MP for Leeds Central and Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government would bring Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt back to the negotiating table.
Mr Williams said: “A lot of MPs have signed it, 72 at the last count, that will force the government back to the negotiating table.”
He said the refusal of Ms Mordaunt to continue negotiating meant members were “more resolute than ever”.
He added: “When my members heard about the deals being offered in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland but not England that really got their backs up.”
Ms Mordaunt has said the strike action was “completely unnecessary” and damaged the fire and rescue service’s “good reputation”.
Union officials say that under the government’s proposals, firefighters will have to work until they are 60 instead of 55, pay more into their pensions and get less in retirement.