Talks taking place between Saskatchewan Crowns and striking union

REGINA — Talks have resumed between the union representing thousands of striking Crown-utility workers in Saskatchewan and their employers.

Unifor's executive assistant to the national president says the union is spending Friday in discussions with several of the Crown utilities bargaining teams.

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The talks come after the Saskatchewan government says the union made the request for informal discussions on Thursday.

"We are encouraged by the productive talks over the past couple of days and hope that collective agreements can be reached soon with the workers of all Crowns," a government spokesman said in a statement.

"Discussions will continue with Unifor until an agreement is reached."

About 5,000 workers at six Crown corporations including SaskPower and SaskTel walked off the job two weeks ago after contract disputes with the government.

The union says the issue is wage freezes, but the government says workers are being offered a five per cent increase over five years starting in the third year.

Last week, the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency reached a tentative deal with Unifor Local 820, which has 138 members.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2019.

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