(Bloomberg) -- Firefighters threatened to join the wave of industrial action sweeping Britain if they’re not offered a significant pay rise in a crucial meeting with bosses Wednesday.

The Fire Brigades Union will announce strike dates for the 30,000 employees it represents on Thursday in absence of a breakthrough in talks. A majority of firefighters voted in favor of walkouts at the start of the year after rejecting a 5% pay offer.

It would be the first national strike by firefighters in two decades, ramping up pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, whose government is already grappling with industrial action by nurses, ambulance staff, teachers, civil servants and other public sector workers seeking higher pay.

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Inflation has stayed above 10% in the UK, sparking the worst cost-of-living crunch in a generation.

“Firefighters are dealing with financial hardship and the growing threat of ‘in work’ poverty,” said Matt Wrack, the FBU’s general secretary. “If there is no significant shift from the employers, then strikes will be announced.”

--With assistance from Ellen Milligan.

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