Uranium mining company Cameco says the production suspension continues at the McArthur River mine and Key Lake mill in northern Saskatchewan due to a labour dispute.

On Tuesday, August 26 the United Steelworkers Local 8914 advised Cameco of its intention to begin strike action at 12:01 a.m. today.

Cameco then issued a lockout notice.

In a release, Cameco says a final offer was presented to the union bargaining committee on Thursday but it was rejected.

The company began flying unionized workers home Friday evening.

Officials say the facilities will be maintained in a safe shutdown state by Cameco employees and unionized personnel under an essential services agreement with the union.

The approximately 535 employees at the two sites have been without a contract since December 2013.

The company and union tried conciliation in early July and a mediator is currently involved in negotiations.

It is the first time such a labour disruption has occurred at any of the uranium mining company’s operations.