September 4, 2009 / 9:18 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Cameco fuel manufacturing workers to strike -union

* Workers vote 96 pct to reject latest contract offer

* Plan to strike at midnight, union says

* Company says no meetings with union have been scheduled (Adds details)

TORONTO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Unionized workers at Cameco Corp’s (CCO.TO) Port Hope, Ontario, fuel manufacturing division voted overwhelmingly on Friday to strike, and will officially walk out at midnight, a union official said.

Mohamed Baksh, a staff representative for the United Steelworkers, said the vote was 96 percent to reject Cameco’s most recent contract offer. He represents 137 workers at the operation, formerly known as Zircatec, which makes up a bit less than half of the total work force at the facility.

Cameco is one of the world’s largest uranium miners, and also operates nuclear fuel refining, conversion, and manufacturing businesses.

Key issues in the dispute are wages, benefits, and retirement benefits.

“Obviously we’re disappointed that the union members have rejected our offer,” said Cameco spokesman Lyle Krahn.

“We’re willing to meet with the union but no meetings have been scheduled.”

He would not say whether the company plans to shut down the facility if the workers strike. (Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Peter Galloway)

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