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POLL: Do you support today's firefighters' strike in London?
Firefighters will be on strike for four hours today across London for the first time in 11 years.
Just 27 fire engines will be on standby during 12pm and 4pm during the Fire Brigade Union's walk out over changes it says will mean their members will have to work longer, pay more into their pensions and receive less when they retire.
The union's general secretary, Matt Wrack, said it was ludicrous for the Government to make firefighters work on the front line until they are 60-years-old.
He said: "This initial strike is a warning shot to government. Firefighters could not be more serious about protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions. Governments in Westminster and Cardiff have simply refused to see sense on these issues.
"None of us want a strike, but we cannot compromise on public and firefighter safety."
But the Government's fire minister, Brandon Lewis, insisted firefighters would still "get one of the most generous pension schemes in the public sector."
He added: "I can reassure the public that all fire and rescue authorities in England and Wales have robust contingency plans in place.
"Incidents and call-outs are at an historical low - but in the event of a fire the advice to people remains the same: get out, stay out and call 999 - you will get an emergency response.
It is expected up to 200 Securitas staff will man the fire engines in London during the strike, during which the London Fire Brigade will still attend emergencies but may not attend non-emergency incidents, such as rubbish fires, flooding and trapped animals.
The union won support of 80 per cent of their members who took part in the ballot for industrial action - but this was less than half its total membership of nearly 40,000.
So what do you think? Do you support the firefighters' industrial action today? Have your say...
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