Kirkland Lake Part-Time Firefighters Join Steelworkers

KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – Following a “challenging couple of years,” part-time firefighters employed by the Town of Kirkland Lake have decided to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union to improve their working conditions.

 The part-time firefighters, also known as the Kirkland Lake Volunteer Fire Brigade, voted last week to join the USW.

A statement from the brigade noted that the part-time firefighters are seeking respect and a real voice in addressing their concerns regarding their working conditions and other issues with the fire service.

“Respect is a big one for us,” the firefighters’ statement reads. “Our goal is to provide safe fire suppression service by ensuring that our members have all the tools and equipment to be successful.

“The Kirkland Lake Volunteer Fire Brigade has endured through a challenging couple of years, both financially and emotionally with the loss of many members. Going forward we feel the United Steelworkers will prove to be an asset in strengthening our organization and allowing us more time to serve our community.”

Issues include the town’s practice of allocating a fixed sum of funding to pay the part-time firefighters, which does not change regardless of the number of calls or the volume and nature of work that must be done.

“We commend these firefighters for their commitment to improve their working conditions and the vital services they provide for the residents of their community,” said Marty Warren, USW Director for Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

“We welcome these new members to the USW and we will stand with them as they enter into collective bargaining to reach a fair deal that recognizes their commitment and the crucial work they do,” Warren said.


For further information:

Marty Warren, USW Director for Atlantic Canada and Ontario, 416-243-8792
Myles Sullivan, Assistant to the USW District 6 Director, 416-243-8792, msullivan@usw.ca
Darlene Jalbert, USW District 6 Organizing Co-ordinator, 613-362-4414, djalbert@usw.ca
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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