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Ekati workers ratify 4-year deal with Dominion

Unionized workers at the Ekati diamond mine have voted in favour of ratifying a new tentative agreement between them and Dominion Diamond after over 30 months of back and forth.

RELATED: Ekati workers, Dominion Diamond reach tentative four-year deal

RELATED: Ekati workers’ union says bargaining set to resume

The four-year deal brings a 5 per cent wage increase for employees over the lifetime of the agreement, set to expire on May 31, 2019.

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The agreement maintains existing language for vacation carry-over, severance and sick leave.

More than 500 workers at the mine, 310 km northeast of Yellowknife, have been without a collective bargaining agreement since 2015.

During that time, talks between Dominion and the union broke down several times.

On Tuesday, both the workers and Dominion voted in favour of the agreement, ending months of uncertainty for employees.

“It feels particularly good,” said Jack Bourassa, regional vice-president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

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“I’m just happy for the members. I can only imagine that for themselves, having a collective agreement that’s been ratified… that surely represents peace of mind for the members so they don’t have a potential strike or lockout looming over their heads.”

Voting took place over four weeks to ensure that every worker that was on rotation was represented.

In a press release, First Vice President of the Union of Northern Workers Gayla Thunstom added: “While we didn’t get everything we wanted, we got the best deal that we could after hard negotiating for months with the employer.”

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