11 Sep 2009

Key meets with protesting fire fighters

10:39 pm on 11 September 2009

Prime Minister John Key fronted up to fire fighters protesting outside the opening of a new station in Auckland on Friday.

The Fire Fighters Union says 1800 workers throughout New Zealand have been taking industrial action since July, when the State Services Commission turned down a 2% rise.

About 60 fire fighters made the most of their opportunity to be heard during the formal opening in Mt Roskill, chanting "a wage rise Mr Key" and holding placards saying "Paid peanuts by monKEYS".

The Fire Service says that like every other government agency, it is obliged to negotiate within the parameters the Government has set.

Mr Key told the workers they deserve a fair deal, but there is need for wage restraint.

The Prime Minister said he is trying to make sure inflation does not increase, which believes would cause greater stress on those who have already lost their jobs.