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FIREFIGHTERS STRIKE MOVES CLOSER OVER PAY DISPUTE

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The threat of 24-hour fire service strikes moved closer yesterday after Michael Howard, Home Secretary, refused to ...
The threat of 24-hour fire service strikes moved closer yesterday after Michael Howard, Home Secretary, refused to let firefighters be treated as a special case over pay, the Independent reports (p5).

The other broadsheets also report on the growing likelihood of a strike. Mr Howard made it clear, says the Independent, that he would not intervene to prevent a return to the firefighters' automatic pay formula next year even though there would be a freeze on public sector pay.

Ken Cameron, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union said Mr Howard's statements were unhelpful and would 'inflame an already dangerous situation'.

AMA chairman Jeremy Beecham is reported as saying that a meeting between the local authority associations and Mr Howard yesterday had helped ahead of Friday's pay talks.

ouncil leaders were critical though that if there was a dispute councils would have to meet the cost of deploying military Green Goddess appliances.
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