About 80 to 90 firefighters are continuing their strike action against government and the St. Lucia Fire Service today.
Spokesperson for the team, Damien Jn Baptiste, told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that the protest will continue today and beyond until some tangible decision is made on a way forward.
The firefighters are demanding a meeting with government. More firefighters have also pledged to join forces with their colleagues as they seek to have the authorities resolve their issues.
It was also confirmed that former President of the St. Lucia Fire Service Association (SLFSA) Shane Felix was issued a letter from the Public Service Commission yesterday, informing him that disciplinary action will be taken against him.
A source told SNO that Felix has joined the protest action. It is unclear whether any sanctions will be taken against Felix and for how long he will be away from the fire service.
The source also revealed that the letter entail plans for disciplinary action to be taken against Felix and is based on accusations that he (Felix) being disrespectful to a senior fire officer.
The source added that Felix could also be disciplined for a recent disagreement between himself, the fire chief and deputy fire chief, over the relocation of the SLFSA office.
Felix had refused to have the SLFSA’s office relocated, but fire officials had subsequently changed the locks. Felix has been given until September 25 to respond to the commission.
The group of firefighters met at the Mon Repos Multi-purpose Centre on Monday to deliberate on the issues affecting membership of the Fire Service Association and the department.
In the end, members agreed that the issues have been allowed to fester for too long by the authorities and has been on strike since Monday. The Dennery and Vieux Fort Fire Stations have seen most of its members joining in the protest action. A temporary team is in place.
The firefighters have said they are fed up with the management of the Fire Department and are concerned that the recommendations of the COI into the fire service have not been implemented.