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Saint Lucia firefighters reject government’s latest offer; strike goes on

By SNO Staff

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Felix

(SNO) — There is no end in sight, at least for the time being, in a strike by firefighters after they rejected the latest offers by the Allen Chastanet-led government.

A letter, bearing Chastanet’s signature on the latest offers, was promptly rejected by the firefigthers.

Chairman of the Saint Lucia Firefighters Association (SLFA), Shane Felix, said it did not bear the re-conciliatory tone of an earlier meeting with Labour Minister, Stephenson King.

“Firefighters felt from the very outset of the letter, there was no real genuine interest in resolving the issue,” he told HTS News. “There is a focus on firefighters just returning to work, the usual violation of law and so on …”

In the letter, Chastanet said he was writing to confirm a number of things following a meeting between the firefighters and King.

“1. Government expects that the workers immediately return to work in order to correct the breach of the Association’s obligations within the Collective Agreement between the government of Saint Lucia and the Saint Lucia Fire Service Association,” he wrote.

Secondly, Chastanet wrote that his government “is not insensitive to the concerns of the workers/firefighters in the Fire Service with particular reference to the outstanding unresolved matters affecting the staff”.

He pointed out that mindful of number two, and taking into consideration the importance of ensuring the reliability and availability of the services provided by the Fire Department to preserve the health and safety of Saint Lucia, his government has agreed to give immediate consideration to a number of steps to be confirmed by Cabinet.

But the firefighters were not impressed, with Felix saying it only aggravated them.

“Firefighters have rejected the letter,” he said. “It doesn’t portray the sort of resolution that we are looking for and nothing has really changed…”

He stated that the letter spoke about resolving issues but the words used were critical for the firefighters since one context was portrayed by the meeting with King and another completely different one was portrayed by it.

In the meantime, Felix said the strike will continue and a formal response will be written to Chastanet.

“Firefighters have said they will continue to remain at home,” he stated.

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5 comments

  1. I am all for change but what are the changes are you guys willing to do for you country. I have seen with my own eyes along with witnesses a house fire, fire truck showed up on the scene, set up hoses, fire personnel started getting dress at the scene of the fire really now "seriously" that’s a fail and guess what the dam truck had ZERO DAM WATER wtf "I mean NO DAM WATER" some of the guys do not know the demographics of the area that they are serving, most of them are not trained properly I have never seen not one house saved from burning down to the ground by any fire service on the island. The fire department need to get it together themselves...all dam day seating on taxpayer’s money playing dam dominoes, cleanup the dam truck goes exercise etc. stop drinking on the dam freaking job. We are quick to cry wolf, but the truth and the matter is some of them are truly incompetent. This is just my two cents

    (0)(0)
  2. I sure hope these guys dont get paid for the week they stayed home. As an hourly taxpayer whose taxes go to pay those guys; if I don't go to work for 2 days my pay gets reduced by 2 days. No issue with y'all protest except that.

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  3. St Lucia Fire and Emergency Services dumbass. They do work hard with a lot of emergency services. Please make more informed comments, and the next time you see an ambulance rushing down the road with sirens blaring, say thank you cause we never know when our turn will come.

    (6)(1)
  4. Remain at home for the entire year without working and collect a monthly salary. I agree with the firefighters. Btw when last all u prevent a house from burning completely?

    (35)(14)
    • the last sentence of you comment shows how ignorant you are. what exactly are you trying to say? in 1 st world countries like the USA with response times of under 5 minutes with multiple fire units and personnel responding, houses are still totally lost. Oh and by the way how long do you think it takes a plywood house to be untenable during a fire?

      (0)(0)

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