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‘Deployment of firefighters to Canada is not about making money’

The organisation has written to Canadian officials apologising for its firefighters for striking.

FILE: A group of South African firefighters take a water break as they work to mop-up hot spots in an area close to Anzac, just outside of Fort McMurray, Alberta on 2 June, 2016. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Working on Fire says the deployment of 300 South African firefighters to Canada has never been about making money, however, they are reviewing their budget and the firefighters salaries after a request from authorities in that country.

The organisation has written to Canadian officials apologising for its firefighters for striking over a heated pay dispute.

The firefighters received a hero's welcome by Canadians last month, but are now refusing to go out in the field in Fort McMurray to battle a wildfire blaze, due to the salary dispute.

Firefighters are angry they don't receive hourly rates instead of daily rates like their Canadian counterparts and authorities have also questioned the disparity in the salaries.

Working on Fire CEO Johan Heine said, "We are busy now calculating a competitive salary because we can't compare a wage in Canada directly with a wage in South Africa, so we are now redoing the budget."

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