You are here

Unifor shuts down the Co-op Refinery

Jerry Dias adresses a crowded picket line at Co-op Refinery.
January 20, 2020 - 12:00 AM

REGINA Unifor announced an escalation of job action and turned the tables on Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL) by effectively shutting down the refinery as hundreds of union activists surrounded the 544 acre facility.

“Co-op executives locked our members out six weeks ago and today we are locking them out. No fuel will be leaving this refinery,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President at a rally in Regina. “This tremendous display of solidarity is sending a message to this greedy multi-billion dollar conglomerate to get back to the table and bargain a fair deal.”

Several hundred Unifor members from coast to coast to coast have come to Regina to support refinery workers locked out since December 5, 2019.

“We are so grateful to all the members who dropped everything to come and help us fight to protect our pensions,” said Kevin Bittman, Unifor Local 594 President. “This kind of solidarity is truly inspirational.”

“Until FCL returns to the bargaining table with a fair offer for our highly skilled refinery workers, we’re not going anywhere,” added Dias.

For the past 46 days, FCL has relied on the use of scabs and management to run the refinery.

Unifor will also continue to encourage the public to boycott Co-op gas, retail, and home supplies outlets across Western Canada. For more information about Unifor’s Boycott Co-op campaign visit

Today’s announcement was streamed live on Unifor’s Facebook Page. Photos from the rally will also be available on Facebook. Facts about the dispute can be found at

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’s Director of Communications, Natalie Clancy, at or 416-707-5794 (cell).