It didn’t take long. The final attempt to reach a contract agreement seems to have been a success. Members of the Steelworkers local 5795 flew to Sept-Iles yesterday (April 13), and the Aurora has learned that a tentative agreement has been reached.
“I received word from Steelworkers 5795 President Ron Thomas that they’ve reached a tentative deal, and are on their way home today (April 14) to meet with the executive,” Graham Letto, MHA for Labrador West told the Aurora.
Letto said he is very pleased with this development, and hope the strike will be resolved. He met with striking workers on the picket earlier today and expressed his hopes that a resolution would soon be found. It was soon after he got news of the tentative agreement.
A message on the Steelworkers Facebook page today said the negotiating team was on its way back, and would be meeting with the executive as soon as they returned.
There are no details of what is in the tentative deal or if the issue of temporary workers has been resolved, or if there were any further improvements in the contract.
Those details will be given to workers at meetings to be determined. A schedule for voting on the new agreement will also be released soon.
Later in the day, IOC released a statement regarding the negotiations.
“IOC is pleased to report it has reached a tentative agreement with the Steelworkers at its Labrador City and Sept-Iles operations. IOC also believes the offer is fair and equitable for all parties,” the release from Heather Bruce-Veitch, Director of Communications and external relations with IOC, stated.
Within hours of news of the tentative agreement there was an obvious mood shift in the residents of Wabush and Labrador City. It was the hot topic at stores and coffee shops. Even though the offer still has to be presented and accepted, people the Aurora spoke with briefly were very optimistic of the outcome.
The Steelworkers local 5795 and 6731 went on strike early in the morning of March 27.