Yellowknifer sought an answer to the union`s assertion that the company was committed to the collective agreement and the document`s ability to manage emergency measures. The new quadrennial collective agreement expires on May 31, 2019. Calgary-based Dominion Diamond Mines stated that this step was aimed at reducing the mine`s journey to and from near the Arctic Circle and minimizing the spread of coronavirus. The N.V.T. government has limited travel to the area, although it has made some exceptions, including for temporary workers in the minerals and petroleum raw materials industry. Unionized workers at Dominion Diamond Ekati Corporation voted to ratify the new interim agreement with their employer. Katrina Nokleby, the territory`s minister of industry, said last week that “not all mines are equal,” adding that she believed the three mines had all chosen appropriate measures. “It`s been a long way to get us to this point and I`m very pleased with the solidarity of our members in refusing the concessions that were on the table,” said Jack Bourassa, Executive Vice President of PSAC North Regional. “This agreement is the merit of the hard work and commitment of our negotiating team and all Ekati employees.” The Northern Workers` Union informed employees at the Ekati diamond mine that it would complain about how the workers were laid off last week. There were concerns that mine workers would announce Covid-19 and distribute it to small communities in NWT, where access to advanced health care is low. The interim agreement was also ratified by the Board of Directors of the Dominion Diamond Ekati Corporation. “We are prepared to use the agreement`s claim mechanism to hold DDM to account for the decisions they make with respect to unionized workers.” Ekati is Canada`s oldest diamond mine, 300 km northeast of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. According to some employees, it would take four months before the Ekati mine was reopened, according to local media.
“However, unusual circumstances do not give employers the freedom to reject collective agreements and make unilateral decisions that affect the employment of unionized workers,” he wrote. A union representing workers at the Ekati diamond mine in the Northwest Territories is threatening legal action after the mine owner stopped working last week to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Dominion spokesman did not provide a number when asked how many workers had been laid off as a result of the mine shutdown, but the Union of Northern Workers (UNW) said Ekati employed 396 Local 3050 members before being set up. (This number does not include union workers or contractors.) Dominion Diamond Mines (DDM) made the decision to stop operations at the mine, citing its isolated situation with the high frequency of air travel required for employees. On Tuesday, UNW issued its own statement claiming that details of the failed sale had been communicated through a press release distributed across the country on Friday before management or the union had the opportunity to inform workers.