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Unifor to Co-op retailers: take back your refinery

January 13, 2020 - 12:00 AM

REGINA—Locked out members of Unifor Local 594 are encouraging the network of FCL co-ops to take back their refinery from the out-of-touch corporate executives who are prolonging this dispute.

“A nasty lockout is not what Co-op members or retailers asked for,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “It’s time that rank-and-file Co-op members tell greedy executives such as CEO Scott Banda to back off and negotiate a fair deal.”

Unifor launched a new wave of information pickets in the Regina area to let Co-op retailers and members know that they have an important role to play in getting the refinery executives back to the bargaining table.

What:  Information picket encouraging retailers and members to take back Co-op           

Who:     Unifor activists and community allies

When: Monday, January 13

Where: Co-op cardlock (Hwys 13 & 39), Weyburn, Saskatchewan

“A handful of rogue corporate executives have needlessly derailed production at the only refinery owned by Western Canadians,” said Kevin Bittman, Unifor Local 594 president. “Co-op retailers and members need to take back their refinery before FCL executives do more damage to the Co-op brand.”

“With profits of $3 million per day, the lockout is not a question of financial planning. It is an attempt at enforcing a ruthless corporate culture that is at odds with everything co-operatives stand for,” added Bittman.

To arrange interviews, including by FaceTime or Skype, please contact Ian Boyko at the number below. Unifor can provide photos and video from Weyburn for media outlets (no attribution necessary).

Nearly 800 highly skilled workers at the Co-op Refinery have been locked out since December by FCL executives for defending the pension plan—the same plan FCL Vice President Vic Huard promised in 2017 to protect for the duration of refinery workers’ careers.

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 media inquiries please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at or 778-903-6549 (cell).