South Africa’s singing-dancing firefighters leave Canada over pay

Johannesburg (CNN)They arrived with a colorful song and dance. And now they’re leaving in a huff.

Around 300 South African firefighters who flew to Canada to battle the wildfires in Fort McMurray are leaving after less than two weeks on the job in a pay dispute.
    Working on Fire, the South African government-funded agency that organized the deployment, said Canadian authorities had agreed to pay for the firefighters’ accommodation and meals, and provide a daily stipend of CAD$15 (U.S. $11.79). In addition, the firefighters would receive an out-of-country daily allowance of CAD$35 a day once they returned home, the agency said in a statement.
    Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said she would be taking steps to intervene, according to CNN news partner CBC.
    “The fact of the matter is that it’s not acceptable to me and my government that we would have people working for wages in our province that do not align with our labour laws,” CBC reported Notley as saying.
    “I can say right now that every hour that every firefighter from South Africa or anywhere else has worked on these fires will be compensated in accordance with our laws in this province,” she said.
    The minimum wage in Alberta is CAD$11.20 for most professions, and firefighters earn an average wage of CAD$33.14.

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