Firefighters strike suspended

The
firefighters strike was suspended after talks with Deputy Prime Minister John
Prescott.

Leaders
of the Fire Brigades’ Union spent almost three hours with John Prescott after a
deadlock over the union’s 40 per cent pay demand.

Andy
Gilchrist, the FBU general secretary, said: "It is now necessary to go
away and consider what has been said and report back to our executive and take
things from there."

Gilchrist
said the talk were "very civil, very constructive", and said both
sides were trying to avoid a strike.

By Quentin Reade

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