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Refinery workers ratify tentative agreement with Co-op

June 22, 2020 - 12:00 AM

June 22, 2020

REGINA—Unifor Local 594 members have ratified a tentative agreement with Co-op Refinery, ending a six-month lockout of 730 workers by Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL).

“Our members and their bargaining committee held firm throughout a difficult, protracted and often bitter negotiation process,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “In the end we were successful in protecting their retirement security and in achieving the national wage pattern but this result could have been reached far earlier if the mediator recommendations had been enforced by Premier Scott Moe.”

The new collective agreement maintains the defined benefit pension plan and the company matched employee savings plan for existing workers. Wage improvements in the new collective agreement match the National Pattern.

“We didn’t seek this work stoppage. Now that it’s finally been resolved our members are looking forward to returning to their jobs and getting back to work,” said Unifor Local 594 President Kevin Bittman. “This was the first, and hopefully last, work stoppage in our local’s 78 years of faithfully providing the Co-op Refinery with our dedicated labour. It will be hard going back into the workplace for some of us, but we will do it with our heads held high because we stood in solidarity for one another. This has been the toughest period in our history, but we will be stronger because of it.”

Unifor Local President Kevin Bittman will hold a media availability at 4 p.m. outside the union hall at 200 Hodsman Road, Regina.

To arrange for interviews with Kevin Bittman please contact Local 594 Chief Shop Steward Richard Exner at chiefshopsteward@unifor594.com or 306-530-9965.

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.

For more information please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).