Regina City Council endorses binding arbitration for Co-op Refinery


April 30, 2020

REGINA—Pressure is growing for Premier Scott Moe to end the Co-op Refinery lockout with binding arbitration after the Regina City Council endorsed the idea today by a near unanimous vote of 9-1.

“City councillors out-flanked the mayor to show real leadership with this extraordinary endorsement of binding arbitration,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “After Co-op snubbed the province’s mediators, a legislated solution is the best path to ending the lockout.”

Moved by councillor Andrew Stevens, the motion calls on the provincial government to seek binding arbitration to end the 147-day lockout at the Co-op Refinery. The refinery attempted to impose a final offer on Unifor Local 594 but workers voted 89 per cent against the contract. The union has already ratified the compromise proposed by two independent mediators in March 2020.

“Premier Moe’s appointment of mediators was a welcome step, but now we need the premier to follow through and impose the compromises proposed by the mediators,” said Kevin Bittman, president of Unifor Local 594.

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.