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Unifor accepts recommendations from independent mediator in Co-op lockout

A media scrum on the Unifor picket line at Co-op Refinery.
March 20, 2020 - 12:00 AM

March 20, 2020

REGINA—The three-and-a-half-month lockout at the Co-op Refinery will end soon if Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) accepts the independent mediator’s recommendations, says Unifor.

“To be clear, our committee is not thrilled with the final report and the significant changes that are recommended,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We have been trying to find a solution since we were locked out on December 5, 2019. It is time to end this dispute and have our members running the refinery in these unprecedented times.”

The Unifor Local 594 bargaining committee has accepted the recommendations and will be encouraging their members to accept the deal. The committee will present the details over the coming days and the members will vote electronically on Monday, March 23.

Independent mediator Vince Ready presented several comprehensive recommendations on March 19, 2020, covering the most contentious issues that caused the bargaining impasse between Unifor and Co-op Refinery. Changes to refinery workers’ pension plan are at the heart of Ready’s final report to the provincial government.

“We are in the midst of a global pandemic, and life for everyone grows more uncertain with each passing day. We all need some sense of stability back in our lives and this deal provides exactly that. This deal should end this dispute, as it gives the company what they said they needed. We are urging the company to accept the special mediator's recommendations as we have. Anything less would be irresponsible,” said Kevin Bittman, President of Unifor Local 594.

For media inquiries please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at or 778-903-6549 (cell). A spokesperson is available for video interview FaceTime or Skype