FIREFIGHTERS across East Lancashire are staging a 24-hour strike, which started at 9am today.

The industrial action is the longest in a three-year campaign by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) against an ‘unworkable’ pension scheme.

The move comes after the Government confirmed it would implement a new scheme without further negotiations.

A shorter strike is planned for Saturday, June 21, from 10am to 5pm.

Between the two strikes, firefighters will not carry out any voluntary overtime or conduct training of strikebreakers.

Under the Government’s proposals, firefighters who are forced to retire before the age of 60 on health grounds will have half of their pension taken away.