Uranium mine workers vote 97% for strike option
Workers at two uranium mines in northern Saskatchewan have voted in favour of strike action.
United Steelworker members at Cameco’s Key Lake and McArthur Lake mines voted 97 per cent in favour of a strike. Their last contract expired Dec. 31, 2009.
The vote was conducted over the last two weeks and the results tallied Sunday evening.
“This is a very strong mandate for our negotiating position,” union spokesperson Randy Gatzka said. “It should send a strong message to the company that they need to put a serious offer on the table.”
Gatzka said the union hopes to come to an agreement with Cameco without having to strike. Retiree benefits has been one sticking point in negotiations, he said.
Cameco spokesperson Rob Gereghty wouldn’t speak on any specifics of the negotiations, but said the company is ready to meet with the union “and we are hopeful we can reach an agreement.”
The union won’t be in a legal strike position until Oct. 22, Gereghty said.
There are 529 employees at the two mines in the United Steelworkers bargaining unit: 271 at McArthur Lake and 258 at Key Lake.