SASKATOON, Aug. 30, 2014 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers Local 8914 representing 535 workers at Cameco's Key Lake and McArthur River uranium mine sites were locked out by the company at 12:01 am on August 30, 2014.
After 9 months of negotiations, 25 bargaining sessions and 6 days of federal conciliation the parties reached an impasse. Talks continued up to the end of the 72 hour Lock Out Notice, given on August 26, 2014 at 11:30am by Cameco, with no results.
USW Staff Representative and Lead Negotiator for the USW, Mike Pulak, stated: "After all the efforts made to find a fair resolve to bargaining, it was incredibly disappointing that in the final hours leading up to the deadline, the company's only concern was to demand 24 additional workers to be added to the essential services list to finish off a production raise underground over the next few weeks. That shows our members that Cameco cares about production first, second and third and their employees are an afterthought."
McArthur River and Key Lake mines currently produce all the revenue for the entire Cameco operations in Saskatchewan that includes the Cigar mine site (currently shutdown) and Rabbit mine site (currently in care and maintenance mode only or otherwise operating at a loss).
The Union says issues include pension, benefits and compensation for working in remote regions, adding that it will be interesting to see how the company decide to treat their work force going forward now that there is a labour dispute and no profitable production output for their shareholders.
Pulak also noted that the Union will be ensuring that there is no danger to safety or health of the public or environment as a result of the dispute and will be complying with essential services under the Canada Labour Code.
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: Mike Pulak, USW Staff Rep, 306-717-9210; Scott Luny, USW District 3 Assistant, 604-329-5308