Unifor members at four Saskatchewan Crown corporations voted overwhelmingly to strike if necessary Sept. 19, bringing the province-wide total to seven.
Strike votes were counted at SaskEnergy, SaskPower, SaskWater and the Water Security Agency. All delivered a strike mandate to their respective bargaining committees. They join SaskTel, SecurTek and DirectWest in a legal strike position, says the union.
“Scott Moe is steering Saskatchewan towards a major service disruption,” says Jerry Dias, Unifor national president. “All because he refuses to grant Crown workers the same pay increase that he gave himself.”
Some progress has been made in recent days on non-monetary items in SaskTel negotiations, but the government’s mandate of a two-year wage freeze for public sector workers is a sticking point that will almost certainly result in job action if no flexibility is granted with the mandate, says Unifor.
If a collective agreement cannot be bargained next week, job action at SaskTel is set to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 30.
“Scott Moe saw fit to give himself a 2.3 per cent wage increase, so it’s certainly unfair to ask Saskatchewan’s hard-working Crown workers to swallow a wage freeze,” says Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor western regional director.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy.