Unhappy SA firefighters could return home

2016-06-10 11:39
301 South African firefighters will be sent to Canada to help battle a raging wildland fire in Alberta. (Working on Fire, Facebook)

301 South African firefighters will be sent to Canada to help battle a raging wildland fire in Alberta. (Working on Fire, Facebook)

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SA firefighters in Canada: 'It's not about the money'

2016-06-09 11:22

After almost a week on the fire line in Alberta, Canada, South Africa's crew of firefighters report back on what the conditions, and overall experience has been like. On Tuesday we spoke to Working On Fire's Trevor Wilson over Skype from Winnipeg, Canada. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - Working on Fire officials are flying to Canada to help negotiate a pay protest by unhappy South African firefighters sent to aid in efforts against a wildfire in Alberta.

The group of 301 South African firefighter started protesting over pay earlier this week, News24 reported.

One of the firefighters, Bitiro Moseki, said the group were concerned that the media were reporting inflated pay figures,

According to their contract, the firefighters were actually each receiving $15 a day, with a further $35 being paid out within six months after leaving Canada, CBC News reported.

Moseki was adamant the firefighters were not there for money, but were there to assist the Canadian government.

On Thursday, Working on Fire said on Twitter that a senior management team is on its way to Alberta to assist with the group’s demobilization and possible return home.

Canadian authorities agreed to cover accommodation and meals, but each fire fighter would receive a daily stipend of $15 for discretionary purchases, as well as their local salaries.

"We wish to categorically state that the quoted amount of $21 per hour is incorrect and was never agreed to with anyone," Working on Fire said, referring to the media reports.

It added in a statement that each firefighter signed the agreement on pay before coming to Canada.

“We are dispatching a senior management team to Alberta, Canada this evening to address the firefighters’ concerns and to assist with the smooth demobilization of our firefighters and their safe return back home," said spokesperson Linton Rensburg.

Rensburg though told News24 on Friday that their return is not yet set in stone.

Read more on:    canada  |  fires

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