News

Union serves another strike notice on power corporation


The Union of Northern Workers says workers at the NWT Power Corporation (NTPC) will walk off the job on Monday unless a deal is reached in forthcoming mediation.

There has been no collective agreement between the union’s members and the power corporation, which is ultimately controlled by the territorial government, since the end of 2014.

This is the second time the union has served strike notice on the power corporation in two months.

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A strike planned to begin on February 11 was called off at the last minute.

As the union held a rally outside NTPC’s Jackfish power plant in Yellowknife on Wednesday, a statement read: “Strike notice has been served and will be effective [at] 12:01am on Monday in the event we do not reach a reasonable tentative agreement during mediation.”

A new round of mediation is taking place between Friday and Sunday.

“This round of bargaining has not been an easy one; and our negotiations are not over because others have settled,” said a UNW briefing note to its members on Wednesday, referring to a newly reached agreement between the union and the territorial government over GNWT workers.

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The halting of February’s threatened NTPC strike came just hours after the union and GNWT agreed to head into a form of binding arbitration to settle their differences – an agreement which had no impact on the power corporation’s workers.

In the past, the power corporation has said a strike would not adversely affect its ability to supply power to NWT residents and businesses.

The corporation did not immediately have a statement available.

“We appreciate the unwavering solidarity shown time and again by NTPC members over the past few years,” the union’s message to members continued.

“We again ask members to support the bargaining team and join us in our call to strike action if necessary, if we are unable to reach a fair settlement this coming weekend.”

The union has in the past suggested power corporation workers’ concerns are similar in nature to those of GNWT employees: year-on-year pay increases, job security, and a range of workplace conditions.

At a so-called “practice picket” outside the Jackfish plant in December, more than anything, union members expressed frustration at the lack of any agreement since the end of 2014.

The union on Wednesday said it would approach mediation “with the intention of achieving a fair settlement for members.”

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