Workers at seven crown corporations take strike action

EAST CENTRAL — Workers at seven of the province’s crown corporations took strike action at the end of last week and the beginning of this week.

Around 5,000 workers across the province employed by SaskTel, SaskEnergy, SaskPower, SaskWater, DirectWest, SecurTek and the Water Security Agency put up picket lines on Oct. 4 and Oct. 7.

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In Humboldt, a picket line went up in front of a SaskTel facility on Main Street on Oct. 7.

The union representing the workers, Unifor, said in a media release they would like to see wage increases of two per cent in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who was leaving Oct. 7 on an overseas trade mission, told the Canadian Press he believes the government's offer of a five per cent increase over five years is fair.

The workers were set to return to work on Oct. 8, reserving the right to take strike action again.

SaskTel workers will not return, as the crown corporation has decided to lock them out. The telecommunications crown said in a release that because Unifor has only committed to providing 24 hours notice before going on strike and that it takes up to 48 hours to have the necessary processes, systems and accesses reinstated, they are concerned there will be too much uncertainty when it comes to running their networks safely.

In a separate release, SaskPower said it has no plans to lock out its workers.

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