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Striking Hydro Ottawa workers agree to deal, IBEW says

The union representing 400 striking Hydro Ottawa workers says they will be back to work on Wednesday after accepting a deal.

The strike began June 28, but members voted Monday to agree to terms with Hydro Ottawa, the union said.

IBEW Local 636 spokesperson Mike Hall told Newstalk 580 CFRA that 57 per cent of members agreed to a four-year deal, which includes a 14.5 per cent wage increase, or an average of 3.625 per cent per year.

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Hydro Ottawa said the employer and the union reached a "memorandum of settlement" on Sept. 14, which is subject to rafitication by both parties.

"The Memorandum of Settlement provides employees with a generous increase in wages, as well as increases to benefits, premiums and allowances. Specific terms will not be disclosed until the agreement is fully ratified," said Hydro Ottawa spokesperson Josée Larocque. 

"Until our employees are back to work, our contingency plans remain in effect, and our commitment remains the same: providing safe, reliable, affordable and renewable electricity to our customers. Over the past 80 plus days, Hydro Ottawa continuously respected the collective bargaining process, including negotiating in good faith towards a fair and responsible agreement for both its employees and customers."

Hydro Ottawa workers went on strike over issues including wages, safety and workplace culture. A majority of members rejected the offer Hydro Ottawa presented in June, which led to the strike. Over the summer, Hydro Ottawa CEO Bryce Conrad said the company had offered a five-year deal with wages going up 16.77 per cent, or an average of 3.35 per cent per year. Wages remained the sticking point, he said, after other concerns were settled during negotiations.

During the strike, Hydro Ottawa employed outside contractors to deal with power outages, but warned customers that repairs might take longer than usual. The city of Ottawa at one point suggested that the reason two Trillium Line LRT stations under construction had yet to be connected to the grid was due to the strike. Top Stories

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