Tentative agreement averts strike by Quebec provincial park employees

MONTREAL — A full-blown strike by employees at Quebec provincial parks that was set to begin today has been averted after the two sides reached an agreement in principle.

About 300 workers were already off the job at Quebec's provincial parks network, known as SEPAQ, and the looming job action by hundreds more had threatened to disrupt the plans of thousands of vacationers at the start of Quebec's busiest summer holiday season.

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The union says all strike action is being suspended while the agreement is put to a ratification vote in the days ahead.

A statement from union president Christian Daigle says he is happy with the agreement and that vacationers will be able to enjoy SEPAQ's services.

No details of the tentative deal were released, however, union members had been seeking a single salary structure for all employees along with annual cost-of-living increases.

In the event of a strike, management had said it planned to keep parks open to the public with reduced services.

A statement from SEPAQ says it expects all operations to resume on Sunday.

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