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Co-op Refinery workers serve 48-hour strike notice

December 3, 2019 - 12:00 AM

December 3, 2019

REGINA—The  Unifor Local 594 bargaining committee served the Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) strike notice at 430 p.m. as the dispute over choice and protection on pension plans for Co-op Refinery workers could not be resolved.

“Nothing is more frustrating than a massively profitable employer insisting their workforce accept concessions and rollbacks,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Federated Co-operatives Limited is wrong if it thinks Unifor members aren’t going to fight for what’s already theirs.”

Unifor says FCL is trying to renege on a 2017 promise by Executive Vice President Vic Huard in which he went on the record stating: “To be perfectly clear, every single employee who currently is in the defined benefits plan will remain in that plan from now until when they retire.”

“Any employer making $3 million a day in profit can easily afford to meet its pension obligation to the highly skilled workers who safely operate this refinery every day,” said Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to National President. “We’ve sought compromise with FCL and have been ignored at every turn. These workers have little option but to take job action.”

"The safest way to run the Refinery is with our members on the inside,” said Kevin Bittman, President of Unifor Local 594. "If we are not inside, the only safe option is shutting it down. Our formal notice of job action is accompanied by an offer to shut down the units safely."

Local 594 has offered to shut down the units safely before starting job action. Unifor has serious concerns about CRC using a smaller group of underqualified replacement workers to operate the refinery, putting public and plant safety at great risk.

For media inquiries please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).