No NTPC strike as union takes ‘difficult decision’
The Union of Northern Workers called off a strike by power corporation employees, saying it was the best decision after cancelling a separate GNWT strike.
The union and territorial government agreed just after midnight on Sunday to let mediator Vince Ready settle their differences with binding recommendations, ending the threat of more than 2,000 GNWT staff walking off the job on Monday.
No such agreement has been reached for power corporation workers, but the union said in a statement that calling off a strike against the power corporation was “the best course of action.”
The territorial government wholly owns and financially backs the NWT Power Corporation – meaning that while GNWT and power corporation staff have separate bargaining units, their negotiations are often closely linked.
“Based on the recent developments coming out of GNWT mediation, your bargaining team has made the difficult decision to postpone mediation scheduled with NTPC later this week and to call off the strike action,” read a message to members issued by the union on Sunday afternoon.
“The bargaining team feels it is the best course of action to take at this point in time to ensure the best possible outcome for all NTPC members.”
The power corporation did not immediately comment. A strike had been set to commence immediately after midnight on Monday.
Power corporation staff, like GNWT workers, have been without a collective agreement for years. Negotiations over both collective agreements have shared similar themes regarding year-on-year pay increases and working conditions.