Fearing they would be seen as “slave labour”‚ Canadian officials are jacking up the salaries of South African firefighters who are in Alberta to battle a wildfire‚ the Globe and Mail reported.
Earlier this week‚ The Times reported that the firefighters‚ including about 60 women‚ from the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Working on Fire programme‚ flew out from ORT International Airport to fight a blaze that now covers more than 560 000 hectares.
The Globe and Mail said that while the roughly “$1500 a month in daily allowances and expenses” they were paid when they worked in the area last year “seemed fair to the South African firefighters…it sparked concerns from Canadian agencies at the end of their deployment last year”.
The newspaper said an intervention by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) “felt it would be inappropriate to use them again given the low wages” and increased their pay rate to “about $15 to $21 an hour”.
Working on Fire managing director Llewellyn Pillay said he was told by the CIFFC that he couldn’t “charge the South African rate” as it had “to be fair and equitable from a Canadian standard”.
“It opened our eyes‚” Pillay told the Globe and Mail. “It’s a much more ethical way of doing it. It’s the right way to operate‚ morally.” – TMG Digital
Source: Times Live