Forestry Sapadores start two-day strike

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 22-07-2021 14:39:00 · 0 Comments

The forest fire fighting Sapadores Florestais start a two day strike today to demand career and a professional status that dignifies their role in preventing and fighting rural fires.

The strike is called by the National Union of Civil Protection (SNPC), and will also feature a protest of uniformed Sapadores Florestais, near the Ministry of Environment, in Lisbon, where they will symbolically deposit their helmets to denounce "the 22 years of pure abandonment", said Alexandre Carvalho, coordinator of the SNPC.

The union leader said that Sapadores Florestais have existed for 22 years, but "they don't have a career" or "a regulated profession".

In this sense, he stressed, the Sapadores Florestais demand a career and a professional statute that dignifies these workers, who have low and part time salaries.

The National Civil Protection Union said that foresters have the "lowest civil protection" salary, as they earn the minimum wage, and do not have a career and professional statute that regulates their profession, or that they are given "a simple risk allowance".

According to the union, there are currently around two thousand Sapadores Florestais working for the Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF), municipalities, parishes and inter-municipal communities, and they are also present in the private sector in associations of logging companies, common land and groups of common land.

"Foresters are the only operatives of the Special Device for Fighting Rural Fires (DECIR) who work in the forest all year round, contributing to an efficient management of fuels to prevent rural fires", the union said, stressing that in the summer they are also involved in surveillance actions and support in fighting fires.

The government, via the secretaries of State for Nature Conservation and Forests and for Labour and Vocational Training, set up a working group to resolve the current situation of the careers of forest firefighters, specifically pay, categories and vocational training, with the first meeting due to take place in September.



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