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Home Affairs Minister takes aim at Shane Felix; stop attacking him says firefighter

By SNO Staff

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Felix (right) and Francis

(SNO) — Home Affairs Minister, Hermangild Francis, has placed Chairman of the Saint Lucia Firefighters Association, Shane Felix, in his cross hairs as strike by firefighters on the island drags on with no end in sight.

Speaking on Real FM’s News Spin with Timothy Poleon on Thursday, Francis said Felix is using the current situation to “re-engineer himself”.

“Shane, he does what he wants in the fire service and nobody can speak to him,” he stated. “So this is the time that he is using, this is the opportunity to re-engineer himself, to make himself look as the god-send.”

The firefighters went on strike in an ongoing impasse between the government and the SLTA over wage negotiation for the 2016-2019 triennium and other matters it say have been affecting the fire service for decades.

Felix has been the public face of the firefighters in the matter, appearing on several TV newscasts and radio programs. But he has been under intense pressure with the government deeming the strike illegal and demanding that the firefighters return to work.

Francis said that Felix is taking a “personal decision” in the matter “because of his own attitude”.

“You have an individual, that has been reported for disciplinary matters for failing to follow instructions, for failing to go on transfers, for insubordination,” he stated. “Every senior officer has reported Mr. Shane, starting from the present chief when he was just an officer in 2009 and 2010. Then you had Mr. Fontanelle who was his very good friend, reporting him in 2010 and 2011.”

Francis went on to allege that Felix was even suspended for two months on disciplinary action.

But the matter took another turn when a person who identified himself as a firefighter called News Spin in defense of Felix and to confront Francis.

“I want you to know that when it comes to Mr. Shane Felix, there has not been one moment where the gentleman has ever planted ideas in our heads,” the man said. “We vote on everything as an association, whether it comes to strike actions, whether it comes to withholding labour, it is always done as a collective.”

The person described Francis’ statements as shameful.

“I think to attack the gentleman’s character, that is a shame on your part because no matter what he does when it comes to his work environment, when it comes to be a president of an association, we look at the gentleman as a leader,” he said. “We look at the gentleman as a man who can represent us because it is impossible to have 300-plus persons coming on television, coming on radio.”

The man told Francis that he should stop attacking Felix.

“With all due respect, I think you should stop attacking the gentleman’s character and look at him as the president of our association, representing our interest which we have voted for,” he said.

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7 comments

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  2. Hey guys stop fighting! Please take that energy and do something good for the people of St. Lucia. I was wondering why St. Lucia has NO handicap / disabled access for amputees. I think they should be able to live life like everyone else! No wheelchair ramps anywhere .. they should be able to go to the banks, groceries, malls, Castries market, etc., They are stuck in the house in a wheelchair getting all depressed over losing a limb. Why? Just because St. Lucia don't have wheelchair ramps! They can't get around like me and you. Please do something! I'm pleading for all handicap persons in St. Lucia. Thanks for listening!

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  3. At least he is doing his job Mr minister . On the other hand I cannot see anything you have done that is your job . The best thing you self should do is resign as minister . Again all this crime and theft and you choose not to speak about it . You Mr hermangil is just a man in power through political favors to strike your big ego . The country can go wild with crime you don't care just don't mention the big bad Herman or he will pop up smh

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  4. This is a low blow and doesn’t addressi the issue at hand. Very unprofessional.

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  5. To be honest I agree with the members of all unions because it's one thing when the government officials or the big boys and big girls in this country are under pressure or attack we see the government, big boys or the police moving in full force we the workers have a voice to and its time those in authority hear our cries we vote y'all in listen or we all strike should be the approach of the entire nation of St. Lucia why don't we ever hear about those problems we face at work and with salary being the same cry in those in authority so y'all getting fat and we have to keep suffering its not not SLP and UWP when y'all out y'all talk the most shate when y'all in is bare shate so clean y'all mess y'all both made

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  6. That is what that Minister does. Instead of solving the problems in the workplace he attackes people, hates them for nonreason and goes on the media and attacks people. If he was doing his job therr would be no strike.

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  7. yall really think saint lucians stupid. what strike is that yall having? there cant be no strike even if they say they having strike. so if Castries having another fire you saying yall will sit yall butts down and do nothing and let the entire town burn not to mention the cost of life? am sure as a fireman yall took some oath to protect life or what ever so really and truly what strike.

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