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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 May, 2004, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
Fire chief urges return to work
Fire engines
The unofficial actions affects four of the county's 14 fire stations
Firefighters in Norfolk have been urged to return to work by the county's Chief Fire Officer.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union started their unofficial industrial action on Friday when they said they would only answer emergency calls.

They have pledged to continue the protest until a pay dispute is settled.

But the Chief Fire Officer, Richard Elliot, has said it is pointless taking industrial action at local level, and urged them to start work.

Four stations in Norfolk, Bethel Street in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Sprowston and King's Lynn, are all only answering 999 calls.

Brigade support

Neil Day, from the FBU in Norfolk, said the unofficial action was in frustration that pay agreements were not being kept.

"As far as our union is concerned we have done absolutely everything we can to try and implement the fire agreement," he said. It followed their strike in 2003.

"We have delivered on our side but the employers have not kept their side of the bargain, that being the money."

He added the Norfolk firefighters were getting support from other brigades around the country and he hoped the FBU would soon give the action its backing.

Norfolk Fire Service has assured the public emergency cover is unaffected.

A national conference of the Fire Brigades Union, which is set to discuss whether to hold a fresh ballot for industrial action over pay, will be held in Southport from 15 June.

The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones
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