Firefighters to announce strike dates

Leaders
of the firefighters union are due to announce dates for its first national
strike in 25 years. 

Strikes
are expected to be scheduled for later this month – forcing hospitals,
airports, train operators and other public services to put emergency plans into
action.

Union
leaders say they are certain a ballot for industrial action will return a ‘yes’
vote.

Deputy
prime minister John Prescott has urged the Fire Brigades Union to call off the
"futile" strikes until a government-appointed pay inquiry reports in
December.

The
union wants a 40 per cent wage rise to take firefighters pay to £30,000 a year.

By Quentin Reade

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