TORONTO -- Toronto Hydro workers voted more than 99 per cent in favour of a strike mandate on Thursday night.

The utility's contract with CUPE Local One expires on Jan. 31.

The workers could strike in February.

However, a hydro spokesperson says this isn't something they're alarmed about and is just a natural part of negotiations.

A blackout has been placed on the contract talks.

Benefits are believed to the main point of contention in the discussions.

Toronto Hydro serves about 709,000 customers, including more than 629,000 residential clients.