In the midst of strike action taken by unionized municipal employees against the city, the Union of Northern Workers (UNW) appears to be in a quagmire of its own.
United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1-207, the union representing unionized UNW employees, has filed for conciliation — a request for a third party to mediate negotiations — after reaching an impasse with the UNW in regards to increased wages.
Robert Gosse, USW staff representative, stated his concern on Friday with the high costs of living in the NWT.
“The proposed wages from the employer simply fail to keep up with inflation,” he said. “The proposed wages make it difficult for our members to afford the basic necessities as their salaries are not keeping up with the soaring prices of goods and services in the territory.”
USW District 3 stated on Facebook that it remains optimistic that that the two parties can reach a fair and equitable deal with the help of a conciliator, and that they are not that far apart.
Yellowknifer sought comment from UNW but did not receive one prior to press deadline.
In relation to its labour strife with the City of Yellowknife, the UNW has stated repeatedly its interest in reaching a fair deal, but negotiations between the two parties on a new collective agreement haven’t been successful. Talks between the two sides began in October 2022.
City workers represented by the UNW have been on strike since Feb. 8.