Saint Lucia Government Says Firefighters Strike ‘Contrary To The Law’

The government of Saint Lucia has asserted that a strike by firefighters which started earlier this week is against the law.

The government’s position was conveyed in a March 15, 2019 letter to the President of the Saint Lucia Fire Service Association, Shane Felix.

The letter, a copy of which was obtained by Saint Lucia Times, was signed by Labour Minister, Stephenson King and copied to the Labour Commissioner, the Permanent Secretary in the Department of the Public Service and the Cabinet Secretary.

It advised Felix that members of the Saint Lucia Fire Service Association cannot continue to maintain the current posture of withholding their labour.

“This is so as it goes contrary to the law as well as the grievance procedure which is prescribed in article 38(2) of the existing Collective Agreement between the government of Saint Lucia and the Saint Lucia Fire Service Association which was executed on the 23rd day of September 2015,” the Labour Minister wrote.

He appealed to the association president and the members of the organisation to immediately report to duty.

“It is only then will we be able to meaningfully proceed with negotiations without further risk of compromise to public health, safety and security,” King stated in the letter.

The Saint Lucia Fire Service Association executive met the Labour Minister on Thursday to discuss ‘ decades long outstanding matters’ for which the association wanted redress.

The Labour Minister recalled in his letter that at the end of the meeting, he reiterated the commitment of the government of Saint Lucia  to ‘timely settlement’ of the matters.

However King noted that this is predicated upon the commitment of all parties to meaningfully engage each other in good faith.

After the meeting with the Labour Minister on Thursday, the Saint Lucia Fire Service Association held a general membership meeting on Friday to update members.

But it was determined that nothing had changed and the strike by firefighters would continue.

19 COMMENTS

  1. King is fooling the fire fighters, don’t listen to him, unless they settle the outstanding matters don’t accept his compromise. We all know King is a white man slave.

  2. Wow…sampson…are you for real…do you no tbat on friday a child was unresponsive at tbe laborie school….the ambulance was unavailable and he had to be transported to hospital via the principals car…..do you no it was a fireman kid…..my loint here is tbe public is at risk…come on….let us behave like intelligent people…no wonder the PM calls people like you dumb…43 percent….we all may need the fire department…so allow dialogue to take place…and stop risking our lives…our kids life and visitors….

  3. Desperate people do desperate things. No one can honestly defend this present governing administration nor the immediate past one of working in the interest of lowly paid public servants. In fighting for justice some innocent people sometimes become sacrificial lambs.

  4. Just listen to the slps and labours the same people who us crying crime rate us high is the same people shouting it’s ok to break the law

  5. King if u care about the country and safety so much. As labour minister address the firefighters grievances so that they can get back to doing their jobs.

  6. Now, now, now, hear who talking about breaking the law, the uwp has broken so many laws since their election, i dont even remember how many…..

  7. It’s so easy to say they should be at work and they should be doing sooo many things. I am of the view that in order for st Lucian civil servants to be respected they have to demand it and take necessary action. If Rosa Parks didnt say no on that bus then there wouldnt be change. Firemen, continue fighting for what you deserve

    • Rosa Parks wasnt and EMT or Firefighter. And if you know your history well that was well planned and executed. I feel for the fire service officers and they have a right to be upset because they have been in thos bad situation far too long. But when someone is dying and needs the ambulance or there is a fire and are told they are on strike that cannot be right either.

      • Smh, you must try to make at least a little sense. You admitting that the Officers have been in the situation for years and begging for relief and yet you against them standing up. If they stay to take care of the sick, will you stand up for them?

    • Very well expressed, Caring Citizen. You have to fiercely agitate for your needs and rights from this government as a public servant. Their promises are like vapor. Almost every sector of the civil service has serious problems with this current government, everybody is aggrieved over salaries and wages, working conditions, negligence, bogus promises or something egregious. The present administration is in over its head. They are good at promising but not delivering.

  8. Instead of addressing the issues the government is seeking help from Dominican firefighters to come work in st Lucia. The lack of respect for firefighters in this country has reach very low if that’s the decision being taken.

  9. This administration can find millions of dollars whenever it has to deal with foreign consultants but when it’s to comes to the locals.Things always hard or there is no money but te economy is doing very well though. Not everyone is part of the 43 percent

  10. You have been ignoring their pleas for years now,now you still humillating them,and you just playing with the guys.You cant be honest enough,to tell them that you dont want to pay them what they are asking for.So you expecting them to get on their knees or pull down their pants.You irresponsible idiots,if we were muslims we would have had some inmolations by now,you going to exacerbate the situation? and angry people can do crazy things,and you are to blame.

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