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Pan-NWT event tries to avoid Hay River strike, changes location

A meeting of delegates from 33 Northwest Territories communities has been moved from Hay River in a bid to avoid ongoing strike action in the town.

Next month’s annual general meeting of the NWT Association of Communities (NWTAC) will now be held on the Hay River Reserve instead.

In a statement, the NWTAC said it was changing the venue in order to “maintain neutrality and respect the negotiation process” as a pay dispute between the town of Hay River and its workers continues.

Talks to end the strike are set to resume on Sunday.

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Read: Town of Hay River and union head back to negotiating table

However, if the strike remains in progress when the association’s AGM begins on May 7, Moose FM understands the Union of Northern Workers intends to picket the meeting – irrespective of the location change.

Sara Brown, chief executive of the NWTAC, appealed for the meeting and its delegates to be left alone in Thursday’s statement.

“This meeting is undertaken for the benefit of all 33 communities in the territory,” she said.

“It’s a rare chance for a face-to-face conversation, an opportunity to collaborate, and to build the tools to overcome issues unique to each community.

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“We’re optimistic that both the mayor and town council of Hay River and the Union of Northern Workers will remain respectful of our meeting and those in attendance, allowing community representatives to take advantage of this important opportunity.”

The association expressed the hope that the minor shift in venue would not cause local businesses in Hay River to suffer.

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