North

Qulliq Energy Corp, workers union reach tentative agreement

Qulliq Energy Corporation and the Nunavut Employees Union reached a tentative agreement Tuesday evening after three days of negotiations, likely signalling the end of a weeks-long strike.

Agreement would end nearly four-week long strike for territory's energy workers

Qulliq Energy Corporation workers stand on the picket lines. The Nunavut Employees Union, which represents the striking workers, announced Tuesday evening that a tentative deal had been reached. (Sima Sahar Zerehi/CBC)

A nearly four-week long strike by Nunavut's energy workers appears to have ended, as the Qulliq Energy Corporation and the Nunavut Employees Union reached a tentative deal Tuesday evening.

The deal follows three days of renewed negotiations, following an offer Thursday presented by Qulliq Energy. That offer was countered Friday by the Nunavut Employees Union, which represents the striking workers.

Details of the tentative agreement will not be released until members review and ratify the deal, according to a release from the Nunavut Employees Union. However, in the release, Bill Fennell, President of the Nunavut Employees Union, said "it is not a great deal but it is the best we could hope for at this time.

"It gets our members back to work so they can provide for their families and service the Nunavumiut," said Fennell.

Qulliq Energy's 140 unionized workers, who perform mechanical, electrical and line maintenance work in communities across Nunavut, went on strike in mid-July after the union and corporation left the negotiating table over the issue of wages.

The agreement likely signifies an end to the strike, but it must still be ratified by both parties.

Jack Bourassa, the Regional Executive Vice President North for the Public Service Alliance of Canada, said in the release that he is "please we were able to reach a fair and reasonable contract that allows workers to continue providing a crucial service to the public."

Prior to the tentative agreement, Qulliq Energy Corporation workers had been without a contract since the end of 2013.