Firefighters only to respond to emergencies in labor action

Firefighters' gear (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Muffet)Firefighters' gear (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Muffet)

From Monday firefighters in the Netherlands will only respond to emergencies in a protest for a better retirement scheme. The unions announced this action after the employers did not responded to their ultimatum, which expired at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, ANP reports.

The protest is directed against employers' plan to raise the retirement age for firefighters from 55 to 62. “Firefighters can not do this work until they’re 65. Who wants to be saved by a 65 year old fireman? In addition, the life expectancy of a firefighter is many years shorter than for other employees. Therefore a decent arrangement is necessary”, Bert de Haas, director of FNV Overheid, said previously.

For the entire summer, firefighters will only respond to emergency calls. "We will ensure hat safety never be compromised. Fires will be extinguished and lives will be saved", De Haas, director of FNV Overheid, said to the news wire. "It will only take longer than usual for flooded basements to be dried and cats to be rescued from a tree."

At least 8 of the 25 safety regions will definitely be participating in this action, including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Nijmegen, Flevoland, Limburg-Noord and Kennemerland. According to FNV, "many other" regions are also preparing for the action.



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