Co-op Refinery pointing fingers at workers to distract from dangerous operations

December 9, 2019 – 12:00 AM

REGINA—Co-op Refinery’s unfounded allegations against its unionized workers is a desperate attempt to distract attention away from the unsafe operation of one of Western Canada’s largest refineries.

“Nearly eight hundred highly skilled refinery workers are locked out of Co-op Refinery. The impact this has on refinery safety is, without a doubt, the most dangerous situation in Regina,” said Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the Unifor National President.

Co-op Refinery locked out members of Unifor Local 594 on December 5, throwing the job site into chaos as a skeleton crew of managers and replacement workers with little to no experience run a dangerous facility. On December 8, the company began the unsafe task of ferrying in supplies and workers by helicopter without a proper helipad onsite.

In the meantime, Unifor’s legal picket lines have been allowing fuel trucks to enter and exit the facility in a safe and orderly fashion.

The labour dispute began after Local 594 members refused to agree to aggressive demands for concessions from the company that would have gut the pension plan.

“Federated Co-op has made a mockery of co-operative values and betrayed their members’ trust. Co-op members and other members of the public should consider taking their business elsewhere to protest this attack on our pensions,” said Kevin Bittman, President of Unifor Local 594.