VANCOUVER — The union representing some workers at LifeLabs, the largest provider of medical laboratory services in British Columbia, has issued strike notice on behalf of its members.

The B.C. General Employees’ Union says notice was issued Tuesday, putting its roughly 1,500 members in a legal strike position by Friday night.

A statement from the union says the action comes after a 98 per cent strike mandate in July, followed by several months of negotiations, bargaining and mediation.

Workers have been without a contract since April and the union says wages are the main issue, although LifeLabs says on its website that agreement had been reached on key monetary provisions before the union rejected its latest offer.

The LifeLabs statement says it has been designated an essential service by the BC Labour Relations Board and it expects most of its outlets will stay open and laboratories will function as usual.

It warns customers that some LifeLabs outlets in B.C. could be closed on a rotating basis as early as Monday and it advises patients to check its website for details.