(SNO) — An ongoing strike by firefighters in Saint Lucia has ignited debate on social media as to whether it was the right thing to do by such a critical service.
Some gave examples of incidents where the service was needed but it was to no avail, while others simply said the strike was illegal.
“Yesterday morning in Gros Islet a diver needed to be taken to the hospital ASAP,” Kimberly Darsheville wrote on Facebook. “When called for an ambulance one of the guys said they on strick (sic)….. Lord I really don’t know what’s happening in our sweet St Lucia…. The guy could have been dead but god was so good he got help…. How can ambulance drivers strike…… This situation is sad.”
Joanna Hippolyte wrote a similar incident took place last Saturday at Blue Coral where there was an issue with a pregnant woman.
“And the same craziness that was going on,” she wrote.
Carleen Denis believes strikes by essential services should not be legal.
“It should be illegal for essential services personal to strike,” she wrote. “I understand that they have concerns but is putting the lives of the citizens at risk worth it? The government should always ensure that the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep our citizens safe are taken care of so things like do not happen.”
Francisca Francis had a different approach to the matter.
“Y’all saying strikes let your family in need of the firefighter then y’all will see what strikes is all about,” she wrote.
Some took the side of the firefighters.
Addressing Kimberly Darsheville, Mustafa Al Salim wrote, “what you need to ask yourself is how can firemen work under the conditions that they have been working for so long and still be sane,fully functioning members of society? That’s the question you should ask and not why firemen are fighting for better working conditions that have been promised by successive governments, that are yet to materialize. Ironically, what they are fighting for will benefit not only those that are there; but those to come and the country at large. Your family member may very well be one of the next firemen who will benefit from this fight.”
He made a plea for the firefighters to seek the betterment of the service.
“So please allow these brave men and women to fight for the betterment of the service and pray that the powers that be do right by these officers at the soonest so they can return to serving the people,” Al Salim wrote.
Lydra Chicot said government officials should be allowed to be firefighters for one day in order for them to see what they are going through.
“Rude officials…tell them be a firefighter for a day…they will run,” she wrote.
Mustafa Al Salim agreed.
“Lydra Chicot a day may be too long,” he responded. “They’ll probably need therapy after the day. One accident will do.”
Meanwhile, Cuthbert Hall believes that essential services personnel “should be compensated fairly for the terrific work they do”.
“Teachers who shape the future of the country should be paid extremely well. Recently California teachers used their collective power to force the state to negotiate. Get rid of Gail Rigobert,” he wrote.
The firefighters went on strike last week because of an impasse between the government and unions over salary negotiations and over issues they say have been affecting the service for decades now.