Co-op CEO Scott Banda to blame if fuel shortages hurt farmers and families

February 3, 2020 – 12:00 AM

REGINA-The disrespectful statements made today by Federated Co-operatives Limited highlights how out of out of touch Co-op executives are with working people and rural families. C.E.O. Scott Banda blamed workers for expected fuel shortages that are the direct result of his decision to lock out loyal workers two months ago.

“The arrogance and hypocrisy we witnessed today shows everyone the kind of employer we have been dealing with. Profits before people, and they take no responsibility for causing this entire dispute to begin with,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

“Our members live and work here and have been fueling Western Canada for decades, and Banda wants to lecture us on western values? Any interruptions in fuel delivery or threats to health and safety are the result of his decision to use unqualified scabs,” said Dias.

“This 60-day labour dispute is fueled by corporate greed as Co-op executive to try pad their billion-dollar year profits by stealing worker pensions,” said Dias.

Unifor is ready to bargain a fair deal to end the 60-day lockout and is willing to return to the bargaining table tonight, before more families and farmers and the 1.9 million Co-op members are impacted by Co-op’s orchestration of this entire dispute.

At a news conference Banda told reporters the company could not find “common ground” to work with Unifor to “build a sustainable future for the refinery.”

Late Friday FCL refused to even counter the unions proposal that included millions in savings to FCL, and instead asked for new concessions that include job cuts.

“They made it pretty clear they have never been interested in bargaining a fair deal and the facts point to an employer that has long been preparing to try and bust the union, not bargain fairly,” said Dias.

The employer applied for the permit to build scab housing weeks before bargaining began last January.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.