Montreal

Rosemère defends fire station closure, layoffs

The Town of Rosemère upheld its decision to close its fire department and lay off 41 employees after firefighters and residents presented a petition to council Monday night.

Firefighters union files complaint to Quebec administrative tribunal after layoffs

Rosemère firefighters gave a petition to reopen the fire department to Mayor Madeleine Leduc. (Radio-Canada)

The Town of Rosemère upheld its decision to close its fire department and lay off 41 employees after firefighters and residents presented a petition to council Monday night.

The petition, signed by 6,200 residents, calls for the town to reopen the fire station.

Rosemère announced last week the immediate closure of the station as part of cost-cutting measures. Under the new arrangement, the town of 14,000 people will now be served by the neighbouring Blainville fire department.

Blainville's fire department has 24-hour service — something Rosemère station wasn't able to offer. 

Mayor Madeleine Leduc said it would be impossible to reverse the move, reiterating that the town will save $30 million over 20 years.

"The vast majority of people told us they were outraged by Mayor Leduc's way of doing things," said firefighter and union delegate Benoit Gauthier.

Union files complaint over layoffs

Firefighters have also filed a complaint with the province's new labour tribunal.

Rosemère can't strike a deal with another department and lay off its employees while in the midst of labour negotiations, says the union.

The union is asking for the tribunal to grant a safeguard order against the town, which would force municipal council to reinstate the jobs of firefighters and reopen the department.

The tribunal will hear the request on Tuesday afternoon.

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