St Lucia fire fighters agree to take strike action

st-lucia-fire-service

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Tuesday September 2, 2014, CMC – Fire fighters have voted to take strike action in a bid to force the authorities to address a number of outstanding grievances, a spokesman for the group has said.

“What happened today is that firemen met in a consultative brainstorming session to decide on the way forward because frustration has set in as well as anger and disappointment,” said Damian Jn Baptiste, who spoke on behalf of more than 60 fire fighters at the end of a meeting on Monday.

He said the fire fighters had taken the decision to withdraw their labour “until further notice” adding “ we will maintain this course of action until they are actively and positively engaged in action geared towards getting a solution to the problems affecting us”.

“The frustration is there and persons feel we have sat back long enough and something needs to be done,” he said.

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Deputy Fire Chief, Lambert Charles, told reporters that the industrial action has affected operations at both the Dennery and Vieux Fort fire stations, south of here.

“I am not aware of the reason for people staying away from work, but what I am aware of is that a number of persons called in sick today and some people reported leaving to attend an association meeting today,” he said, adding that permission was not granted for a meeting.

“As far as I am aware there is no properly constituted executive for the association at this time.”

In June, fire fighters voted in favour of industrial action as they sought to get the authorities to pay attention to a number of outstanding grievances.

The fire fighters are calling on the authorities to implement the recommendations of a commission of inquiry into the St Lucia Fire Service.