The Yellowknife Gymnastics Club will reopen Sunday after talks with the union

The Yellowknife Gymnastics Club course attached to the multiplex.  (Submitted by Yellowknife Gymnastics Club - photo credit)

The Yellowknife Gymnastics Club course attached to the multiplex. (Submitted by Yellowknife Gymnastics Club – photo credit)

The Yellowknife Gymnastics Club will reopen its doors on Sunday after being forced to close on Saturday after the union representing the City of Yellowknife workers called for labor action at its facility.

A non-profit organization runs the club from its own gym. But those facilities are part of the Yellowknife Multiplex, a city-run sports complex that workers are shutting down during the strike. With a separate entrance, the gymnastics club continued last week.

But the club closed on Saturday after the president said he saw an internal memo from the union ordering striking workers to form a strike line near the club’s location.

Workers began striking at the entrances to the Yellowknife Fieldhouse and multiplex at 8 a.m. Saturday.

In an email to members on Saturday, club president Steve Thompson said the club’s board had held talks with the union to “reach an agreement”.

“[Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Union of Norther Workers] assured us that “our message to our members and everyone else is that our picket lines will be peaceful, family friendly and positive,” the email said.

“While we would prefer that no one cross the picket line, we would like to confirm that any of your members accessing your facility will not be confronted with anything negative from our picket line in any way.'”

“As such, Yellowknife Gymnastics Club has decided that with this understanding we remain open as we cannot afford to keep our doors closed any longer as we continue to try to recover from the disruption that the COVID closures are causing our organization.”

Thompson says the club will reopen on Sunday and that any members who have chosen to cross the picket line should notify the club if they are being treated “negatively in any way” by striking workers.

“Many nonprofit groups were impacted when the City of Yellowknife closed their facilities,” Gayla Thunstrom, president of the Union of Northern Workers, said in an emailed statement on Friday.

“City employees do not want to disrupt the services. They are Yellowknife citizens, taxpayers, and they use the same services that everyone uses. They are picketing demanding fair wages, respect and appreciation…Members of Local 345 will be picketing the multiplex this weekend and we are asking Yellowknife residents not to cross the picket line in the meantime.”


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