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REGINA -- SaskTel stores across the province will be closed starting Friday, as workers prepare to go on strike.

The Crown corporation sent out a release on Thursday morning saying labour negotiations are at an impasse and that Unifor has indicated to its members that a strike will begin on Friday. Action was confirmed by the union on Thursday afternoon.

5000 Saskatchewan crown utility workers will be on strike Friday. Unifor President Jerry Dias says massive picket lines will be in place outside SaskTel, SaskPower, SaskEnergy and other facilities. pic.twitter.com/2U5EIrob7A

— Wayne Mantyka (@WayneMantykaCTV) October 3, 2019

The Crown says it will try to minimize the impact of the strike for its customers. Stores will be closed during the labour disruption, and activating new home or transfer services won’t be possible.

SaskTel customers will still be able to access their accounts online through mySaskTel, allowing them to change wireless plans, TV packages or internet plans.

SaskTel authorized dealers will also still be operating, according to SaskTel.

Bills can still be paid online, by mail or in person.

SaskPower workers will also take job action this week. The Crown says those who repair power lines and run generating stations belong to a different union and won’t be part of the strike. If workers do go on strike, SaskPower says phone and online chat hours will be reduced to 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and emergencies can still be reported to SaskPower’s outage centre.

SaskEnergy says natural gas services will remain functional when workers walk out. Those services include the provincial gas line system, technicians and operators, and the provincial Gas Control Centre. The Emergency Call Centre will still operate, but the Crown says its Customer Service Line will be suspended when job action is taken, along with construction and installation of any new gas lines.

On Monday, Crown employees started refusing overtime and the union says it’s trying to pressure the government into a contract negotiation.