Co-op Refinery workers vote overwhelmingly to strike

December 3, 2019 – 12:00 AM

December 3, 2019

REGINA – Members of Unifor Local 594 have responded to the Co-op Refinery’s attack on their pension by voting 97.3 per cent in favour of striking if necessary.

“We are pleased but not surprised,” said Kevin Bittman, president of Unifor Local 594. “Our members are justifiably frustrated. Morale is low. Nobody enjoys going to the job they love when Co-op continues to show such pettiness and contempt for their expertise and value.”

The union’s position has not changed since mandatory mediation broke down on November 12—it wants choice and protection on pensions.

“The union is willing to make changes to pension liabilities but will not budge on pension security for every worker. At this time when Co-op is raking in billions in profit, anything less is an unnecessary concession,” said Scott Doherty, lead Unifor negotiator and Executive Assistant to National President Jerry Dias.

800 members of Unifor Local 594 covering 21 different job classifications across the Co-op Refinery will continue keeping the plant safe and profitable while its bargaining team contemplates next steps.

“We love our jobs and would always much rather be on the inside,” said Bittman, “But this level of greed and disrespect from a so-called co-operative absolutely cannot go unchallenged.”