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(SNO) — President of the Saint Lucia Fire Service Association Shane Felix said the strike action by firefighters across the island that started on March 13 is still underway despite a meeting on Thursday evening between his executive and Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Labour Stephenson King.
Felix told St. Lucia News Online on Friday that as a result of the meeting with King, the Association is having an “emergency general meeting” this morning at the Civil Service Association (CSA) to “update members”.
The president said he is unable to disclose what came out of the meeting with the minister until the meeting.
“We appreciate the minister’s early intervention,” Felix said.
“We are meeting this morning and we continue to anticipate follow-ups with him in the best interest of the entire nation,” Felix added.
The strike action continues across the island, Felix confirmed. “Yes we are still out of work,” he said.
In a Facebook post, King disclosed was meeting with the executives of the Association and his government is “listening” and is “committed to workers”.
He also wrote: “This Administration of #Workers will ensure that the country continues to run at its optimum at all times, while addressing the plight of state workers. We are listening!”
King added: “Rest assured we will do what is necessary to maintain peace and tranquility in the industrial climate of the country at all times. #TeamWorkers #MakingSaintLuciaBetter”
It is not yet clear what resolution came out of the meeting, as the minister gave no such indication in his social media post.
The firefighters gave the government notice that they were taking industrial action from March 13, over the vexing issue of salary negotiations for the 2016 to 2019 triennium and other matters facing the fire service.
Several unions on the island have been at loggerheads with the government for salary negotiations of the triennium.
On Monday, the Civil Service Association walked silently through the streets of Castries to vent their frustration over the matter.
The Saint Lucia Teachers Union (SLTU) has also expressed its frustration, saying nothing is being done despite several proposals submitted to the government.