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Dominion Agrees to Save 150 Ekati Jobs

Miner reaches deal with Canadian workers’ union.
Jun 28, 2018 4:26 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Dominion Diamond Mines has reached a tentative agreement with the Union of Northern Workers (UNW) that could potentially save 150 jobs at the Ekati deposit.

Dominion had planned to replace that many employees with contract workers due to high levels of absenteeism. However, the miner and the union have now agreed on a solution that would deal with the company’s concerns while avoiding layoffs, according to a joint statement Tuesday.

“This is a good day for Ekati and its employees,” Dominion CEO Patrick Evans said. “Our preference is that our own employees perform the surface-mining operations work, and the new agreement allows us to do this, while ensuring we are able to control our costs by addressing the longstanding absenteeism issues and improve the morale and productivity of our employees.”

Indigenous workers held many of the jobs that were under threat, according to news outlet CBC. Chiefs of the Tlicho people, who live in the Northwest Territories where Ekati is located, met with the mine’s management and workers to discuss their concerns during the dispute, CBC said.

The union labeled Dominion’s potential layoffs a “cost-cutting mechanism to increase profitability” when the miner’s initial plans emerged last month. At the time, it also said it intended to file complaints of unfair labor practices.

“We are pleased that we have been able to agree on an alternative approach that saves our members’ jobs,” UNW president Todd Parsons said.

The agreement will go into effect once both parties have approved it, which they expect to occur by July 25. It also includes terms for a new labor agreement between the company and the union that will run until May 2022.
Tags: Dominion, Dominion Diamond Mines, ekati, Patrick Evans, Rapaport News, Tlicho, Todd Parsons, Union of Northern Workers
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