Tentative deal reached in Watson Lake strike

Watson Lake and the union representing 22 locked-out municipal workers have come to a tentative agreement, the Yukon Employees Union announced April 3.

Watson Lake and the union representing 22 locked-out municipal workers have come to a tentative agreement, the Yukon Employees Union announced April 3.

The workers went on strike the afternoon of March 27 after the town locked them out that morning.

Everyone will be back on the job April 4, the union said in a release.

Yukon Employees Union president Steve Geick said both negotiation teams have signed off on the new contract. The union is recommending its members to ratify the deal. That should happen April 4, he said.

Until the deal is ratified, the union won’t go into detail about the new contract.

“The main points of contention have been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both parties, and the union hopes there will be a new era of mutual respect between workers and the employer,” the release said.

When the strike was announced, both sides said the main sticking point had to do with scheduling.

The union’s last multi-year contract expired in December 2014. Both sides agreed to a one-year extension that expired in December 2015.

Talks started in May 2016.

The employees met Feb. 1, 2017 to give their union the authority to strike.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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