If the length of time two sides talk contract means anything, Husky Energy and United Steelworkers Local 624 look to be making progress.
The two sides sat down, beginning at 9 am Friday morning, trying to end a nearly 4 month old strike. The talks didn't end until about 4:45 that afternoon. This is the third meeting the two sides have taken part in this week.
Union President Mike Edelbrock says they appear to have reached a verbal agreement on the hiring of new people. He says the refinery has 7 units, and when new people are trained and bid for a unit, the union wants them assigned to one unit, primarily a safety issue. Seniority and overtime also affected. He says the company wanted to move those workers around. He says they appear to have reached a deal on that issue, but want to see it in writing.
He says the company is still reviewing the union's proposal on shift trades and the Vice-President of the International says the company has still not matched the national agreement. Husky spokesman Mel Duvall confirmed the talks lasted all day and they will resume next week.
The union says the company has agreed to meet again on Monday, and tentatively Wednesday and Thursday have been set aside for more talks if needed.