Author Archives: prosperitysaskatchewan
Unionized Cameco workers picket at PA Airport
Reported by James Bowler
First Posted: Sep 1, 2014 3:26pm | Last Updated: Sep 1, 2014 3:37pm
Following the breakdown of negotiations between union reps and Cameco officials, unionized workers picketed at Prince Albert Airport on Monday.
“We’re very disappointed in Cameco and we tried to negotiate with them and effective Aug.30 they locked us out. We couldn’t reach a deal. We weren’t asking for a whole lot,” president of steel workers local 8914 Phil Morin said.
Starting Monday morning, up to 30 workers began picketing with signs that read “Locked Out by Cameco” at the entrance to Prince Albert Municipal Airport.
“We want some respect at the negotiation table, were not happy with the way talks have gone,” local union vice president Ron Berezowski, “Things don’t get solved when you’re not talking to one another.”
On Tuesday, Cameco was notified by union reps for the United Steelworkers Local 8914 that the strike would begin on Saturday morning at 12:01 a.m.
“We made a fair and competitive offer and unfortunately the bargaining committee rejected the offer and didn’t want to present it to its membership,” Cameco spokesperson Rob Gereghty said, pointing to the presentation of the company’s final offer on Thursday.
Union rep Mike Pulak said one of the major issues in negotiations was with delayed flights.
“There’s been a number of situations over the years where there’s been delayed flights either coming in or out, or the company extending periods that you have to report into work.” Pulak said.
Pulak said workers would not be compensated for these flight delay wait times.
The strike led to two Cameco facilities, McArthur River and Key Lake, being forced to shut down, however Gereghty confirmed that all orders for 2014 would still be filled.
The strike affects 535 unionized workers and the matter started from failed negotiations for contracts that ended in November of 2013.
With files from News Talk’s Kayla Bruch, Kelly Malone and Kurtis Doering.
Strike-lockout interrupts production at two Saskatchewan uranium facilities
Sun, 31 Aug, 2014 3:39 PM EDT
By The Canadian Press
SASKATOON – A labour dispute has interrupted work at two Saskatchewan uranium facilities.
Cameco (TSX:CCO.TO – News) shut down production at the McArthur River mine and Key Lake mill when the union’s strike deadline early Saturday morning approached.
Cameco says it issued a lockout notice earlier in the week to assure a safe and orderly shutdown of its facilities and continued protection of the environment.
The United Steelworkers Local 8914 represents the 535 affected workers at the sites.
It says issues in the dispute include pensions, benefits and compensation for working in remote regions.
The workers’ previous contract expired at the end of 2013.
“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,” the union’s lead negotiator, Mike Pulak, said in a news release.
Cameco said the facilities will be maintained in a safe shutdown state by salaried Cameco employees and unionized personnel under an essential services agreement with the union.
Pulak noted the union will be complying with essential services under the Canada Labour Code, and will ensure there is no danger to safety or health of the public or environment as a result of the dispute.
In July, the company and union jointly applied for conciliation under the code.
Cameco said it presented its final offer to the union bargaining committee on Thursday and requested that it be submitted to the union membership for a vote.
“The union bargaining committee rejected the offer and advised Cameco that it would not present it to the membership for a vote,” the company stated in a news release.
Cameco said it began flying unionized workers to their home communities on Friday evening “in order to assure safe and orderly departure of unionized employees from the remote northern sites.”
It said the work stoppage is not expected to affect the company’s 2014 uranium delivery commitments to customers.