Government workers in Yellowknife are being called to a general meeting Saturday to prepare for a looming strike, scheduled to take place Monday at 12:01 a.m. unless a final stab at mediation or binding arbitration proves successful.
The Union of Northern Workers emailed workers late in the afternoon Thursday. The meeting is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. at the Union of Northern Workers building at 4910 53 St. The meeting is open to Local 1 UNW members, which includes all GNWT employees in Yellowknife, except from Stanton Territorial Health Authority, Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission, the departments of Infrastructure and Justice, and the Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority. Employees with the NWT Housing Authority and Commission Scolaire Francophone are also part of the Local.
“Bring your questions and a co-worker!” reads the message. “We will do our best to answer and plan for the days ahead.”
The meeting comes as last ditch mediation meetings between the union and territorial government take place Friday and Saturday. MLAs plan to debate a motion Friday calling on the GNWT to accept the union’s offer to find a third party to arbitrate a binding decision on the long-running labour dispute.
The union and GNWT have been unable to reach a new collective agreement since negotiations began in March of 2016. The potential strike may affect up to 4,000 unionized workers if it proceeds Monday.