ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Workers with seven private ambulance services owned by a single employer across the island of Newfoundland have walked off the job.
In an interview, Hubert Dawe, business agent for Teamsters Local 855, says the decision to strike today followed what he says was the unjustified reporting of a union member by the company to the province’s regulatory body on Thursday for participating in an illegal strike.
Dawe says the union had been conducting a work-to-rule campaign since Jan. 11.
He says the 120 paramedics, dispatchers and other first responders employed by Fewer's Ambulance Service are seeking higher wages and a better pension plan.
Dawe apologizes to the public for the inconvenience, but says the union feels it had no choice but to act in the contract dispute.
The company is funded for its services by the provincial government, which says contingency plans are in place, including the use of other ambulance services to ensure responses to emergencies.
Communities in Newfoundland immediately affected by the strike action include Stephenville, Fogo, Gambo, Bonavista, Conception Bay South, Holyrood, and Trepassey.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2023.
The Canadian Press