Firemen plan protest at pay peace talks

Thousands
of firefighters are set to lobby talks in London aimed at preventing a national
strike over pay.

Officials
of the Fire Brigades Union are meeting employers this week in a effort to stop
industrial action.

Employers
are expected to offer a 4 per cent rise and a new pay formula from November,
but the union wants a rise of almost 40 per cent to take the pay of a qualified
firefighter from £21,500 a year to £30,000.

The
Union also wants a new pay formula, claiming the existing one is out-of-date,
and says it will ballot members for industrial action if no progress is made.

By Quentin Reade

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