City of Yellowknife Serves a Surprise Lock-Out Notice

Yellowknife, NT, February 5, 2023— As previously announced, PSAC/UNW served a notice to be in legal strike position for February 8, 2023. This mandatory notice of at least 72 hours is a legal requirement that the Union fulfilled.  

The communication was sent to the Employer, City of Yellowknife, at 9:45 PM on February 4. The Employer responded with a communication two hours later serving Lock-Out Notice to the Union at 12:04 AM on February 5, 2023.

Though the parties are set to resume negotiations in mediation on February 6 and 7, the surprise Lock-Out notice from the City casts serious doubts on its intentions to settle an agreement in mediation with the Union.

“Workers will not be intimidated by this surprise Lock-Out notice,” says PSAC North REVP Lorraine Rousseau. “We’re requesting Yellowknifers to contact the City and demand that they bargain in good faith. Workers don’t want disruption in services. Workers deserve respect, to be valued and a fair deal.” 

“Though the Union followed process and served notice to be in a legal strike position February 8, the parties still had the option to extend mediation and avoid labour disruption if the mediation was productive, which was the hope of the bargaining team,” says UNW President Gayla Thunstrom. “I am really disappointed that the bullying and intimidation from the employer has escalated, but it shows what city workers have been dealing with.”

City of Yellowknife, the Employer, sent a statement earlier this morning to media failing to mention that the Lock-Out mirrored the Union Strike Notice.

The Lock-Out notice, in direct response to the Strike Mandate from the Union, means that the City held a secret ballot vote among the employers who are members of the organization and received the approval of the majority of the employers who voted.

Mediation is still set for Monday afternoon and Tuesday regardless.