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BHP prepares 'last and final' offer

Jason Unrau
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (May 29/06) - Ekati-owner BHP says it will make a "last and final" offer Tuesday to the union representing its striking workers.

Talks between BHP and union negotiators resumed Thursday in Edmonton when the Public Service Alliance of Canada tabled a new offer to the company.

In response, the mine owner said it will reply with a new offer of its own on early this week.

In a press release, Ekati's vice-president of human resources for the mine Roy Lenardon said the union's offer "fails to adequately address key issues," among them Northern commitments and socio-economic agreements.

PSAC executive regional vice-president Jean Francois Des Lauriers says he first learned of Ekati's response to the union bargaining team's proposal via the press release.

"What they are saying is totally outrageous. They can't speak for us," said Des Lauriers, who called Ekati's tactics disrespectful to its workers.

However, mine spokesperson Deanna Twissel dismissed Des Lauriers' claims the company informed the union of its response in a press release.

"It's simply untrue," she said calling it, "a communications issue between him and his bargaining team."