Fire Service Association to declare reasons for continuing strike

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Fire Service Association to declare reasons for continuing strike
Shane Felix
SLFSA President Shane Felix

The St. Lucia Fire Service Association (SLFSA) will be making a public statement on the ongoing industrial action taken by its members, tonight on the Hot Button Issue on Choice Television at 9 p.m.

President of the SLFSA Shane Felix told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that the statement will address the reasons behind the extension of the industrial action which began Monday, Sept. 1.

Felix said while the public is questioning this move – even as the government announced Fire Chief Leslie Fontenelle’s secondment – there are good reasons to continue the protest.

The SLFSA members met again yesterday to discuss the issue at hand before they could respond.

National Security Minister Victor La Corbiniere has said government will be making harsh decisions in relation to the continuing strike soon. The minister expressed disappointment with other trade unions for expressing solidarity with the SLFSA.

“The association is playing its own political game. They only recently wrote to me and they brought into focus a number of issues and one of those was the Commission of Inquiry,” he told the media.

He dubbed the missive sent to him by the SLFSA as discourteous. He also accused the firefighters of misbehaving even though they are the ones in the disciplined forces.

Meanwhile, President of the Trade Union Federation (TUF) Julian Monrose has accused La Corbiniere of issuing a threat to firefighters on strike.

Monrose said the minister’s statement, “This time around it will not be alright in the morning,” is a clear indication of a threat.

“We could not have a minister attempting to intimidate them. The TUF stands ready to support the fire officers,” the TUF president declared.

He noted that the minister’s statement on the small number of fire officers trying to do what they want to, speaks to the reason why the issues in the fire service were left to build up.

The TUF president has stressed that the government have the responsibility to listen to firefighters’ concerns and work with them to rectify the issues.

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22 COMMENTS

  1. I agree. Shane Felix is the malignant cancer in the fire service and he MUST GO. When you try to destroy someone's life, just watch out for what is knocking at your door.

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  2. It is very myopic to think that the fire personnel are selfish and don't care about the country. First question do those in authority have the country at heart when they passively deal with a situation which they themselves admit is bad? Are these firemen really fighting for their personal cause rather than a fire which has been burning in our society for so long. The recommendations of this Commission of Inquiry has been out for over a year now. How long does it take to fix a law which the PM by his own admission knew was bad close to 6 years ago? How long did it take to pass legislation on VAT or Antigang legislation?

    We should as a nation stop harboring and festering excuses which can jeopardize our own safety. I heard people saying over the media that with so many young people who need jobs why don't we get them to fill in the vacancy. I tell you this, wouldn't the new recruits be faced with those same problems eventually. Then what? Would we fire them and again recruit and retrain. So you see the absurdity. We have spent a great deal of money training our fire personnel, this is where our investment lies, we did not invest in politicians neither does the money we invest in training belong to these politicians. So what do we do? Isn't the logical thing is to rally behind our investments? After all politicians are just in essence sophisticated beggars. These guys are our investments and they deserve to be treated fairly with immediacy. After all do you ever hear of consultants being treated unfairly considering that they are are never placed in life threatening situations? Its amazing the stances taken by ordinary people in support of politicians. It will soon be statements like "so what if it is my kid or mother who is killed" in the support of politicians doing stupid things.

    Isn't that frightening the measures people would take just for a party. A party where politicians are free to move from one to the next as they please while the ordinary people are brainwashed into believing that they cannot change sides. Even more ludicrous. I may not get thumbs up but I know I am right.

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  3. Come on Government. The guys are right. That's the 3rd time they are striking for the same reason. Bad working conditions how many of you have to sleep out of your home days on end . Government make it right so life can get back to normal for us all. And stop that red asshole from talking out of tune. You were not elected if you were in the firemen place what will you do

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  4. You want to equate this selfish act to the fight against slavery? There is absolutely no reason for this action to continue. The cfo has been removed and some of the other issues that the slfsa have are not things that can be addressed by the stroke of a pen or any one act. Therefore seeing that some action is being taken, they should return to work and the bargaining table. It's not like these issues are life threatening to their members, in fact their action is putting the lives of the rest of society at risk. I am one who believe that we as a nation need to let politicians know that their role is to serve us and not be our boss but I see no justification for the continuation of this action. You want to withhold your labor, no problem, your right, but the government has a responsibility to the rest of us.

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  5. So it's ok for the members of the SLFSA to threaten and negatively affect the lives of the entire nation but the minister cannot state that the government will do what it needs to in order to protect the citizen! The SLFA can't even convince all its members to support this selfish action yet other union and association leaders are willing to stand in solidarity. SLFSA members have rights, so too does the rest of society. This nonsense has to stop. We cannot continue to allow government to take our money and pay a salary to people who are not willing to work while we are being denied essential service. No work, no pay, or we the rest of society should hold a protest of our own. On this one, I stand in solidarity with the minister and government of St Lucia.

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    • I agree with you; the Firemen/women need to return to work. They are endangering people's lives being out of work. I also agree they should not be paid while on strike. That's where the Union fee's you've been paying comes in. After a month, your next pay cheque should come from the your Union. I'm not anti-Union, but some are brow-beating the system.

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    • When Martin Luther King and Malcolm X march did everybody follow, NO!!! But in time the crowd grew,you and your slave mentality. If was not for the few that march before us we would still be in chains. To you firemen I say fight for what you believe in. Sometimes the entire nation need to fill to know we mean business, that one of the reasons we not on the cane fields. (Read your history when our people shut down the country to demand elections long before it was due after not being happy with government) The people have the power!!!

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      • I totally agree. When positive change is about to be made there will be many with a negative mindset who are resistant and comfortable in their mediocre existance. No pain no gain man, I am tired of working in the proverbial cotton fields. And I for one am surprised to know my worth now that I am on strike. All you people who call and curse us just so on the emergency line, all of you who waste resources by sending us out on false alarms and abuse us verbally on scene when we are trying to do our jobs. And the famous line: Since the time I call them. It have an hour already! I am glad to know that now my worth is seen. I didn't know without me the country could burn down and endless people would die because of no ambulance. Thank you. Thank you.

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    • Threaten and negatively affect the lives of the entire nation? Really? Are you not firstly responsible for your own life and would you not first try to help yourself in case of an emergency? That bullshit coming from some of you who don't want to pay the $20 fee at VH and the $50 dollars for the ambulance. With all that responsibility heaped in fire fighters shoulders you would swear they are related to superman.

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  6. How can the minister of Nation security open his mouth and with that arrogant mightier-than-thou attitude say to he the firemen it will not be all right in the morning. You mean to tell me the people already protesting for something they deem to be unacceptable and corbinierre further ruffling feathers with his nonsense?! Who he think he is really? So workers in this country can no longer protest for their rights? To all the people saying fire them its because of people like you that corruption continues. People being mistreated in the workplaces to children being raped and murdered and their guardians accepting ''wojmuh''. In this country is keep quiet about wrong doings or you will be persecuted.It should be the other way around. Just last week Kenny said he could NOT intervene in the fire service dispute. All of a sudden on Sunday he came on tv looking pitiful saying The fire Chief has been transfered or seconded (transfered temporarily) to SLASPA. Thats total crap. So after two years will he be back in the vacant post as Chief in the fire service? And he is still involved with fire service in is role as consultant in SLASPA! I have been following this closely. The fire service management have been trying to put the public against the association.Now if all was well in the Fire service why would Kenny admit they have taken industrial action three times since his government has been in power? And isnt that contradicting his actions? They must have some issues which they continue to protest for! And to those of them at work I do not know if they are unaware of the issues plaguing their colleagues or they have been so brainwashed by management and are scared of losing positions promised, but if they had decided since last Monday to just strike for a few hours then this issue would have been resolved already.

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    • Those who are at work are there so if your house is on fire, they can response with what little manpower they have. The Firemen/women need to return to work. They are putting their selfish needs above country and people's lives.

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      • Our needs are not selfish, thank you very much. Its people like you who keep silent and suffer in the face of injustice. Sweep all unpleasantness under the rug so as not to stare it in the face and be reminded that we are indeed in deep in this country! No we will not keep silent about issues that matter to us!

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  7. What issues could a fireman of two or three years service have to pro that bloody strike. What's about those senior officers with ten plus years. Those young firemen just hungry for promotion. Its time Kenny retrence some of their asses.

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    • Ignorance is rampant. It's best they put an end to this nonsense now so they won't have to be like those with 5, 7, 9, 11, 15+ years of service suffering but too scared to do anything about it. Its best they act now to ensure a good working environment 100 years from now. Who knows, your child if you have may want to join and have it good all because of their actions now you ignorant so and so!

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  8. I have no interest in politics .....I believe that some of these firemen a ready to get promoted at any cost...country or whatever..there is an apparent lack of discipline among the uniform person.

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    • I agree 100%, it is not the uniform persons alone the public servants on a whole. However this great democracy of ours if you beleive you treated unfairly you must fight for it. And for that cause I stand behind the firemen

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  9. lacorbiniere ti A------ l;acuz is mann like u if we had no union u wuda fire us.
    so u see de politicians if not for de people. isntead u try to c how u cud solve d problem u sayin dat? jack

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  10. I support you guys 100%. With La Corbiniere b.s!!! Saying ur'll a small group. United we stand and divided we fall. Remember is us the people of St. Lucia that elect your party to put u there. If we the people want we can demand a general election at anytime to remove you. You have no power which has been given to you by Jah first and the St Lucian public second!!! Peace Out

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