Sask. Crown workers heading back to bargaining table Friday
Unifor says union plans to ramp up action without better deal
Unifor, the union representing approximately 5,000 striking Crown workers across Saskatchewan, is expected to return to the bargaining table with their employers on Friday.
Workers at a number of Crown corporations, including SaskTel, SaskPower, SaskEnergy and SaskWater went on strike Oct. 4.
"We will be bargaining with every intention of getting a fair contract that addresses the concerns of Unifor members," reads an email from the union.
Both sides are separated by a wage proposal that would leave workers with no wage increases for two years. Workers would then be offered a one per cent increase in year three, followed by a two per cent increase and another two per cent increase in the fifth year in some cases.
On Twitter, the union warned more labour action was coming if it didn't receive a better deal.
If we don't reach a fair deal we are ramping up like never before says <a href="https://twitter.com/gavinmcgarrigle?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@gavinmcgarrigle</a> on day 14 of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/saskcrowns?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#saskcrowns</a> strike - lockout. You haven't seen anything yet <a href="https://twitter.com/PremierScottMoe?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PremierScottMoe</a> says <a href="https://twitter.com/NaureenRizvi1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NaureenRizvi1</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#skpoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/canlab?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#canlab</a> <a href="https://t.co/FuPOWSroJA">pic.twitter.com/FuPOWSroJA</a>—@UniforTheUnion
The provincial government met with unions on Thursday before formal talks were initiated.
"We welcome Unifor to agree to return to the bargaining table," read a statement from the province. "It would be an important step in moving toward concluding collective agreements with the workers of all Crowns represented by Unifor without further labour disruptions."
Last week, workers with the Water Security Agency reached a tentative contract deal with the province, although Unifor recommended its members reject the deal, calling it "inferior."
In an email, Unifor credited the bargaining to workers' efforts on the picket lines and "steady pressure on the government and the Crowns."