Copyright © 2017 Dominion Diamond Mines. Copyright © 2017 Dominion Diamond Mines.

Tłı̨chǫ Leadership supports Tłı̨chǫ workers in potential Layoff

Tłı̨chǫ Leadership supports Tłı̨chǫ workers in potential Ekati Layoff dispute.

Behchokǫ̀, NT (May 24, 2018) - The Tłı̨chǫ Government is aware that Dominion Diamond is preparing plans to lay off up to 150 workers from the Ekati mine site. The company suggests they will then contract these positions out. We are very concerned that contracted out positions will bring lower benefits, protections and wages to Tłı̨chǫ workers. The Tłı̨chǫ Government is asking the company to reverse this decision. 
The Tłı̨chǫ Government is working to understand options for protection of these positions. The Tłı̨chǫ Government signed an Impact and Benefit Agreement with the company, which sets employment obligations. Dominion must respect our Impact and Benefit agreement and maximise Tłı̨chǫ people on site.  Our government will not accept a reduction in the number of Tłı̨chǫ employees at Ekati. 
Grand Chief George Mackenzie, in hearing of Dominion Diamond plans says:
“We consider this matter urgent. Our IBA requires that the company hire and retain the Tłı̨chǫ people. We are meeting with the company and the union about this issue, and we will update our people regularly. Our people, our way of life and our livelihoods are at stake. We cannot accept any reduction in the number of Tłı̨chǫ at this project site. The company has a duty through all of the agreements they hold with partners – the IBA, the Collective Agreement with the union, and through the Socio-Economic Agreement with the GNWT – to hire and retain northern workers. Their proposed approach strikes at the heart of all of these agreements.”
The company’s complaint is that worker absenteeism is too high a cost, however the company has never brought this concern to the Tłı̨chǫ. Currently, the Tłı̨chǫ Government is developing plans to address this issue and ask the company for the information we need. We will meet with employees at site and in our communities, and support the union to do so as well.
For interviews, contact our Tłı̨chǫ Government contact point, Henry Zoe, Senior Director, Governance at 867-766-4003. 

Update - 25 May 2018 - Dominion Diamond is considering plans to lay off up to 150 workers from the Ekati Mine. The company has still not made a final decision on this matter. Tłı̨chǫ Chiefs are concerned about the wellbeing of Tłı̨chǫ workers and their families during this sensitive time. 

To support and hear from Tłı̨chǫ workers, the Chiefs will be travelling to Ekati on Monday (May 28) and returning Wednesday evening (May 30). During this time they will be listening to worker concerns. The Chief Executive Council is also meeting with the Ekati Chief Executive Officer to discuss the process and options.

Any concerned workers are welcome to come talk to the Chiefs next week.

Related News