Talks called to avert escalation of fire service dispute

Talks
aimed at resolving the renewed firefighters dispute are to be held early next
week between employers and union leaders.

Officials
from the Fire Brigades Union will meet local authority employers on Monday in
an attempt to resolve the row, which has led to unofficial wildcat strikes
breaking out across the UK.

More
than 70 union members in Greater Manchester have now been sent home without pay
for refusing to operate new anti-terrorist equipment.

Christina
Jebb, chairwoman of the Fire Authority Employers, said she was hopeful that
next week’s talks will lead to a breakthrough.

"I
am very pleased that the union has accepted the invitation to meet on Monday
and I am confident that we can make progress," she said.

By Mike Berry

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