Xstrata Nickel has reached a labour agreement with office, technical and clerical workers at its Sudbury nickel operations in Canada after a three-year agreement expired Sunday.

Workers could have walked off their jobs had the deal not been made before the previous agreement ended, according to Xstrata.

Workers had considered striking but the United Steelworkers Union’s bargaining team has now recommended acceptance of the new agreement.

Details on the agreement will be presented to union members followed by a ratification vote to be held next week.

Anglo-Swiss miner Xstrata procured Sudbury’s assets when it acquired the nickel miner Falconbridge in 2006.

Brazil’s Vale also mines in Sudbury after it acquired the Inco mine in 2006.

More than 3,000 Inco mine workers have been on strike since last July but the company has partially carried out its operations using contract workers and employees from outside the bargaining unit.