SASKATOON – Production at Cameco’s McArthur River mine and Key Lake mill in Saskatchewan has now been suspended for five days as the result of a labour dispute.
About 535 unionized members of the United Steelworkers Local 8914 at the uranium mining company’s two northern operations have been on strike since Saturday.
Cameco (TSX:CCO) spokesman Robert Gereghty tells radio station CJLR that management made what it feels was a fair and competitive contract offer in the final hours of negotiations last week but it was rejected by the union.
Union spokesman Mike Pulak says they are looking for an improved pension plan and compensation for travel, both of which the company is refusing to budge on.
Pulak also says the union is unhappy Cameco asked for an additional 24 workers as part of an essential services agreement to complete some last-minute production.
About 60 members of the union picketed Wednesday outside Cameco’s head office on 11th Street West in Saskatoon.
“We’d rather be back at work but we’re here to support our membership, to support our bargaining committee, to support our northern members of the union as well,” says striker Tim Darke.
The union members have been without a contract since December 2013.
This is the first strike in Cameco’s history.
Both sides say there are no new scheduled talks for contract negotiations at this time.