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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 November 2005, 10:30 GMT
Firefighters end second walkout
West Midlands firefighters on strike
The action on Thursday was the second of four planned strikes
Firefighters in the West Midlands have returned to work after staging a three-hour walkout in protest at changes to their shift patterns.

The action on Thursday morning was the second of four strikes called by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

A joint military task force working from 11 Territorial Army bases provided fire cover for the region.

During Thursday's strike they were called out three times to what were all described as minor incidents.

Extra pay offer

On Monday, there were 21 emergency calls, which were described as minor.

FBU members are unhappy about compensation for anti-social hours, travelling long distances and leave arrangements.

Following Monday's action Pete Gallagher, West Midlands FBU brigade secretary, said: "We don't want to take strike action but local managers are refusing any attempts at compromise."

West Midlands Fire Service said the latest proposals included an offer of additional annual leave and extra payments for working a late split-shift pattern.

Further strikes

And the head of West Midlands Fire Service, Frank Sheehan, has offered further talks in an attempt to end the action.

But he added that to agree to the FBU requests would cost more than 2m per year to council tax-payers.

The FBU has planned further three-hour stoppages for next Monday and Wednesday.

Its national general secretary Matt Wrack attended Thursday's action.

He said it was a local dispute but members around the country were watching closely and supported their colleagues in the West Midlands.


SEE ALSO:
Firefighters back after strike
15 Nov 05 |  West Midlands
Firefighters walk out on strike
14 Nov 05 |  West Midlands
Fire crews vote for strike action
04 Nov 05 |  West Midlands


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