Nfld. & Labrador

Atlantic Minerals, unionized workers reach tentative agreement after 6-week lockout

The union representing 130 workers at the Atlantic Minerals quarry on Newfoundland's Port au Port Peninsula has reached a tentative agreement, according to the company.

Company, largest employer on Port au Port Peninsula, locked out workers Nov. 11

The Atlantic Minerals Limited quarry in Lower Cove on western Newfoundland's Port au Port Peninsula. (Courtesy Atlantic Minerals Limited)

The union representing 130 truck drivers and heavy equipment operators at the Atlantic Minerals quarry on Newfoundland's Port au Port Peninsula has reached a tentative agreement with the company.

That's according to Rob Kenny, the human resources manager with Atlantic Minerals, who said a vote was held Thursday morning and a conciliator notified him .

The company, which is the largest employer on the Port au Port Peninsula, says it locked out the workers Nov. 11, after the union threatened strike action at the Lower Cove limestone quarry. The company said it had no choice but to lock out its employees because their request for higher wages is unreasonable. John Flaherty, president of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 904. disputes the company's claim, telling CBC that the union "at no time threatened strike action against Atlantic Minerals."

Rob Kenny with Atlantic Minerals says the company has reached a tentative agreement with 130 locked out workers. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

After Thursday's vote, Kenny said Atlantic Minerals is "happy that this tentative agreement has been reached but we feel it would not be appropriate to comment further until the agreement has been signed."

He said the company and the union still have to prove the contents of the final contract, but he expects it will be signed sometime next week.

With files from Gary Moore