Strike ends as Watson Lake workers reach tentative deal with town

Striking municipal workers in Watson Lake, Yukon will be back on the job Tuesday, after the Yukon Employees Union (YEU) and the town reached a tentative agreement.

The deal — expected to be ratified by both sides on Tuesday — was reached Monday morning, according to Steve Geick of the YEU.

The 22 town workers hit the picket line last Monday afternoon, after a half-day lockout by the town. The tentative deal was reached almost exactly a week after the strike began — "almost to the hour," Geick said.

"The two negotiators and a mediator worked long hours over the weekend."

Geick would not reveal any details of the agreement, saying it must first be ratified. He said last month that the main outstanding issue in the dispute was the working hours of the town's protective services (fire and bylaw) staff.

"The main points of contention have been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both parties," says a union news release.

Geick said the town council is expected to vote on the tentative agreement on Tuesday morning, and the employees on Tuesday afternoon.

In the meantime, though, the workers will report for work on Tuesday under a return to work protocol.

Geick said he's "very happy" with the deal, and proud of the workers' resolve during the short strike.

"For a small group of people, they stuck together," he said.