Ura­nium mine work­ers vote 97% for strike op­tion

Edmonton Journal - - BUSINESS -

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.

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