After holding the line for more than four months, and with solidarity pouring in from across the country, thirteen members working at the Iqaluit Housing Authority have ratified their new collective agreement. These workers, mostly young Inuit parents, fought for – and won – wages that close the gap with inflation and lift workers struggling with Nunavut’s high cost of living.
“The resilience and strength shown by these workers and the solidarity shown by members from coast to coast to coast underscores the strength of workers united,” said Josée-Anne Spirito, PSAC Regional Executive Vice-President for the North.
The employer repeatedly postponed bargaining sessions, delayed negotiations and spent tens of thousands of dollars on replacement workers. Scab workers from southern Canada were paid more and provided with allowances and benefits the striking workers never had access to.
“These are union-busting tactics that undermine collective bargaining and aimed to break workers fighting for better.” said Chris Aylward, PSAC National President, “This government has committed to bring in legislation to stop scab labour, which could have avoided or significantly shortened this strike. I call on Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan to commit to making anti-scab legislation a priority when parliament reconvenes.”
The new contract expires in June 2025 and contains a fair wage increase including a lump-sum payment, an increase to the Indigenous language bonus, new leave provisions for traditional hunting, fishing, harvesting days and Inuit cultural pursuits, and other changes that recognize the value of the work members perform at the housing authority.