Now in media, the 300 South African fire fighters who arrived in the province of Alberta Canada to help to fight the raging fire are in media saying they have not been compensated as per the contracts they signed before they boarding the Air Canada flight from Johannesburg and arrived in the Edmonton airport singing and dancing and were warmly welcomed.
The South African company (Working on Fire Ltd.) has apologized and mentioned that the payment issue should have been solved internally.
The Alberta Premier, Rachel Notley says the company was contracted to pay $170 CAD daily for each fire fighter.
The fire fighters say they are being paid $50 CAD per day for fighting the fire in 12hr shifts daily.
Working on Fire Ltd. says they never agreed to pay anyone $170 per day.
Notley says that the province of Alberta will pay every fire fighter the minimum wage of $11.20 per hour.
Working on Fire Ltd. says it is treating the dispute with importance and is committed to finding an amicable solution. The company also says it has completed many international deployments successfully and pays its fire fighters an agreed upon rate spelled out in signed contracts.
At minimum, given the Alberta minimum wage, 12hrs of work would equal $134.40 CAD per hour. However, in Canada, any hours worked over 8 per day equal to time and a half. Which would mean that the fire fighters would be entitled to $89.60 CAD for the first 8hrs and then $67.20 CAD for the next 4hrs making the total $156.80 per day (gross).
On the other hand, fire fighters are usually very well paid given the danger of the job and if Alberta says they agreed that the South African fire fighters would be paid $170 CAD daily, they are not too far from reality. Then again, when Working on Fire Ltd. says they agreed on paying the fire fighters $50 CAD daily, someone is feebing.
Canadian employers get fined for not paying the minimum wage and not adhering to the employment regulations.
The province of Alberta has the largest deposits of oil and natural gas in Canada and they pay very well. Sadly, that industry has been affected by the raging fire in Fort McMurray and the fire has moved into the province of Saskatchewan which also has oil and gas.
Credits: Kelowna Daily Courier (British Columbia Canada).