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Locked out oil and gas workers picket five Co-op properties in rural Saskatchewan

May 26, 2020 - 12:00 AM

May 26, 2020

SOUTHEY— Premier Scott Moe’s endless dithering on whether or not to impose a settlement from the mediators in the Co-op Refinery lockout has prompted workers to establish information pickets at five rural Co-op properties.

“It boggles the mind why Scott Moe can’t finish the job he started,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Why did he appoint the nation’s best mediators if he was just going to sit on their recommendations? It doesn’t make any sense.”

Members of Unifor Local 594 will be handing out information to customers at Co-op properties at Meacham, Pontrilas, Porcupine Plain, Southey, and Stenen. The oil and gas workers are asking farmers to contact their MLA with demands to legislate an end to the lockout.

“The government has said, on the record, that it would get involved if bargaining had ‘utterly failed’. Well, it’s Day 173 of a lockout. The employer has snubbed the premier’s mediators. It’s safe to say that negotiating in good faith with the Co-op has utterly failed,” said Kevin Bittman, Unifor Local 594 president.

Local 594 members ratified the mediators’ deal by 98%. Co-op management later rejected it and tabled new concessions, which Local 594 members have refused. Since then, oil and gas workers have been calling on Premier Scott Moe to legislate the parties back to work with the terms recommended by the two mediators.

To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Skype/Facetime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).