The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) has recently expanded its network with the addition of new local affiliates in Ontario and British Columbia.
This growth signifies a strengthening of the organization’s presence in Canada, reflecting its commitment to supporting fire fighters across the region.
In Ontario, the Loyalist Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 5464, serving Loyalist Township, has joined IAFF.
This local includes seven members from various roles within the fire service, including suppression fire fighters, fire inspectors, and an emergency vehicle technician.
Local 5464’s President, Jeremy Franklin, expressed his satisfaction with joining IAFF and is eager to begin negotiations for their first fire fighter-specific contract.
The need for a dedicated fire fighter union became apparent with the growth of the full-time fire department in the municipality.
Both the employer and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) agreed to transition these employees to the IAFF, with the affiliation formalized on December 6.
IAFF’s 13th District Vice President, Fred LeBlanc, involved in the organizing process, welcomed Local 5464 to the IAFF family and anticipates assisting them in their new role as an affiliate.
In British Columbia, two new affiliates were welcomed earlier this year: View Royal Local 5419 and Colwood Local 5420.
These groups, which include five and eight members respectively, were previously unrepresented.
Brian Catinus, Secretary-Treasurer of the British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters Association (BCPFFA), who aided in the organization of these locals, noted the enthusiasm of these groups now that they are part of IAFF and BCPFFA.
He mentioned that they are currently negotiating their first collective agreements and are beginning to appreciate the broader IAFF community they are now part of.
Kyle Smith, President of Colwood Local 5420, highlighted the transformative experience of transitioning from having no representation to being part of a labor union.
He acknowledged the incredible support and positive experience of information sharing since their affiliation in April.
With these new affiliations, the IAFF now boasts 29,341 members in 195 locals across Canada, and is engaged in additional organizing initiatives.
This expansion not only strengthens the organization’s presence in Canada but also enhances its capability to support and advocate for fire fighters in these regions.
The addition of new local affiliates in Ontario and British Columbia to the International Association of Fire Fighters marks a significant development in the organization’s expansion and influence within Canada.
This growth is indicative of the evolving landscape of fire fighter representation and labor unionism in the country.
The ability of the IAFF to attract new members and locals underscores the increasing awareness and appreciation of the benefits that come with being part of a specialized fire service union.
The inclusion of Local 5464 from Loyalist Township, Ontario, and Locals 5419 and 5420 from British Columbia, demonstrates the diverse nature of fire service needs across Canada.
From small, growing communities to larger urban areas, the need for fire service-specific representation and negotiation power is becoming increasingly recognized.
This trend is likely to continue as fire services evolve and expand in response to the changing demographics and needs of Canadian communities.