To the Honourable Premier Scott Moe,
We are writing to request that you immediately order Federated Co-operatives Limited to participate in binding arbitration to end the labour dispute with Unifor local 594.
Saskatchewan’s workers are facing an unequal battle for a better future and a fair retirement. Nearly 800 families in Regina have been locked-out from their workplace since December 5, 2019 because Co-op refuses to negotiate with its employees.
The members of Unifor Local 594 come from a long line of proud oil and gas workers. Our union was formed alongside Co-op itself in 1944, as part of a project that sought to bring back balance to production and retail.
We still hold those values. Co-op’s wealthy management does not. Last spring Co-op built temporary housing for hundreds of scab workers at the refinery, demonstrating that they never intended to bargain in good faith the goal of achieving a fair collective agreement. Their only goal has been to break our union and steal our pensions.
The members of Unifor Local 594 have shown incredible strength throughout this dispute initiated by Co-op. After all, we are only fighting to keep what we have, and what we were promised by management a short time ago.
The bargaining team went back to the table today and presented another proposal to the company. It was clear from the start that Co-op still refuses to engage in any sort of meaningful conversation. They expect refinery workers to accept virtually all of the company’s demands..
As Premier of Saskatchewan you have the power to end this lockout. You have the ability to stand with refinery workers.
The National President of our union, Jerry Dias, first issued this request on January 29. I am writing today to reiterate that request.
Mr. Premier, your government must intervene and enforce binding arbitration to end this dispute and get Local 594 members back to work.
We take great pride in the work that we do at the Co-op Refinery, and want to get back to work under fair terms. The refinery is a high-risk facility that has been run by inexperienced scab workers, and gone without public safety inspections for too long.
Help us get back to work. We are available to meet today to discuss this further.
Jerry Dias Kevin Bittman
Unifor National President President, Unifor Local 594