US Elections Editor

Only 42% of Britons think firefighters should be allowed to strike

As firefighters in England and Wales stage a strike over a pensions dispute, a new YouGov poll reveals that the British public tend to oppose allowing firefighters to do so, in contrast to opinions on striking by workers in several other professions.

Overall 49% of Britons oppose allowing firefighters to strike, compared to 42% who support the right. 

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Opinion on the issue has changed little since June 2012, when a YouGov poll found opposition to the right to strike for fire-fighters outnumbered support by 48%-45%.

In terms of political persuasion, only Labour voters supported the right of firefighters to strike by a majority, with 61% saying they should have the right compared to only 40% of Lib Dem voters, 34% of UKIP voters and 23% of Conservative voters.

In general, majorities of the British public tend to think workers in emergency and medical services sectors – such as doctors or police officers – should not be allowed to strike while majorities do support the right to strike of other workers like teachers and railway workers.

Firefighter unions say the strikes, which began at midday and should last four hours, are a ‘warning shot to the government’ meant to express anger over a pensions offer that would have firefighters work until they are 60 lest they lose their pensions. The government has called the pensions offer ‘generous.’ 

Image: Getty

See the full poll results

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