Labour, NDP criticize Corner Brook firefighter layoffs
The head of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour is speaking out in support of some firefighters in western Newfoundland.
Lana Payne said she hasn't seen the kind of betrayal she is seeing at City Hall in Corner Brook since the 1990s.
Back then, public sector workers signed an agreement with the provincial government, and then the province used legislation to roll back gains that were made during collective bargaining.
Last week, just moments after a new deal was signed with the union, Corner Brook Mayor Neville Greeley announced four firefighters will be laid off.
He said it wasn't announced before the signing because of fear that the firefighters would go on strike.
Payne advised the firefighters to consider their options.
"Under our legislation there is the option of going to the Labour Board and looking at things like bad faith bargaining and unfair labour practices. The challenge is that the collective agreement is signed and this action came after the fact," she said.
Payne said Corner Brook officials' actions in this case don't bode well for labour relations in the city.
The NDP’s Dale Kirby also showed support for laid-off firefighters while he was in Corner Brook last week.
The new MHA was at Thursday's protest against the layoffs at the city’s fire hall.
Kirby said the city mishandled the situation.
"There is a really good case to be made that this is a problematic way, a less-than-ethical way, to be dealing with collective agreements. Both of these parties came to the table in good faith," he said.