Direct Energy ratifies tentative deal with Ontario workers

Over 500 appliance installers, servicers could be back on the job next week
||Last Updated: 05/02/2012

Direct Energy employees in Ontario who install and service air conditioners and natural-gas fired appliances have "narrowly ratified" a tentative agreement with management, according the workers’ union.

Details of the agreement have not yet been made available.

About 550 Direct Energy employees walked off the job at midnight on April 17 after talks broke down between the two parties.

Prior to the deal, Direct Energy was demanding a 25 per cent wage reductions, reduced benefits, and an end to shift and weekend premiums.

Communication, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) Local 975 posted an open “letter to customers” in late March that linked the company’s bargaining position to a recent and deeply unpopular attempt to impose new conditions for water-heater rentals.

The last collective agreement expired on March 31, 2011 and the union has had a strike mandate since March 30, 2012.

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