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Hay River strike: Talks resume, union relents on arbitration

The Town of Hay River and striking workers will head back to the bargaining table on Monday, according to the Union of Northern Workers.

A strike by town workers, over pay increases, is approaching its fifth month. The last round of negotiations ended when the town claimed it could not agree to a union ultimatum.

Since then, the town has refused a union bid to have the dispute referred to third-party binding arbitration. Now, the union has backed down over that request.

“While our members still feel neutral, third-party arbitration is the best way to quickly resolve the labour dispute, our two sides are very close and we believe that through negotiations we can reach an agreement that benefits the whole community,” said union vice-president Gayla Thunstrom in a statement.

Jack Bourassa, regional representative for the Public Service Alliance of Canada, said: “Although we believed we were at an impasse, the town indicated a willingness to negotiate, and our members are prepared to exhaust every avenue possible to end the strike.”

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