North

Dominion offers cost-of-living increases, extra leave in tentative deal

Workers at the Ekati diamond mine are voting this week on a tentative deal that would offer them cost-of-living wage increases for the next three years, extra leave and a bit more job security than they've had for the last few months.

Company agreeing to not lay off any unionized employees as a result of contracting out positions

An aerial view of the Ekati mine, 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife. (Dominion Diamond Corporation)

Workers at the Ekati diamond mine are voting this week on a tentative deal that would offer them cost-of-living wage increases for the next three years, extra leave and a bit more job security than they've had for the last few months.

The CBC has obtained a copy of the tentative deal, reached three weeks ago between the Union of Northern Workers Local 3050 and Dominion Diamond Mines, which owns Ekati mine. The union represents almost 500 workers at the diamond mine, which is located 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife.

The proposed contract would extend the current collective bargaining agreement until May 31, 2022, but with a few changes.

In each of the three years ahead, wage increases will only be made to account for the cost of living, based on the consumer price index in Yellowknife. Workers will get an additional seven days of personal time off for things such as sick leave, cultural leave and family emergencies.

Employees who fall ill while at the mine will be entitled to as many as three days of sick leave if it is certified by a physician's assistant.

In the tentative deal, Dominion agrees not to contract out any union positions if doing so would mean laying off a unionized employee. The company also agrees to increase the number of unionized employees to at least 500 during the life of the agreement.

Union representatives will be holding ratification votes at the mine on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.