May 20, 2020
REGINA—After revelations that the Regina Police Service kept secret a bomb threat against picketing members, Unifor will examine its options for expanding an existing complaint against the RPS.
“Regina police have been at the beck and call of the company from the beginning of the lockout,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Now there is clear evidence that their loyalty to the refinery has veered into a recklessness that could have cost lives.”
Documents obtained over the weekend by Unifor Local 594 through a freedom of information request showed that a letter outlining a bomb threat against the picket lines at the Co-op Refinery was dismissed by police and no warning was ever issued to union members. On May 19, 2020 Premier Scott Moe called the threats “very alarming.”
Dias added that the union will appeal the redaction of passages in other documents obtained under the FOI request.
“Regina Police Chief Evan Bray has made a mockery of the concept of ‘serve and protect’,” said Dias. “His masters at the Co-op Refinery will be pleased with his performance, but families in Regina should be very concerned about his fitness to lead.”
Dias said Premier Scott Moe’s handling of the file is equally disappointing: “The Chief of Police knew of the threats to me, picketers, and my family. The mayor knew. The Justice Minister knew. Are we supposed to believe that, during the largest labour dispute in modern Saskatchewan history, the cabinet was not informed of a bomb threat at a refinery? If Scott Moe knew, why didn’t he take action to protect refinery workers and their families?”
Unifor is also investigating the possibilities for a civil suit against RPS related to restricting union members’ rights to lawful picketing.