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The CRC to bring trailers on-site to construct a work camp

By Daniel Jungwirth

October 15, 2019

The Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) will begin constructing a work camp on-site today after Unifor Local 594 declared an impasse on Sept. 26. Local residents and businesses will begin to see trailers arriving via the refinery’s Gate 7 entrance on the east side of the complex.

“We can confirm that trailers will be arriving onsite today,” said Gil Le Dressay, Vice-President of Refinery Operations. “These trailers serve as a precaution in the event we need to house our highly-trained management team and temporary contract workers in response to a possible labour disruption at the CRC.

“I want to stress that our primary goal is to reach a fair deal with our union and keep our employees working. However, we must be prepared to safely run our refinery in the event of a labour disruption. Bringing trailers on-site is not something we want to do, but is something we have to do for the safety of our people and our community.”

By having trailers on site and being prepared, the CRC is protecting three extremely important things.

First and foremost, the CRC is protecting the safety of its employees and the nearby community. Our Business Continuity Plan, including the provision of an on-site work camp, will ensure the safe operation of the refinery in the event of a labour dispute.

Second, the CRC is protecting the Western Canadian fuel supply. It has been a difficult harvest and a shutdown of a major Western Canadian refinery due to labour disruption would only add to the current economic hardship experienced by many farm producers across the Prairies.

Last, the CRC is protecting its equipment and the economy of the Regina region. A sudden shutdown would only serve to damage the refinery’s assets, which would negatively impact its future operations.

“The CRC, like most refineries, operates 24-7, 365 days per year. By its very nature, it simply cannot be shut down in the event of a labour disruption,” said Le Dressay.

“Let me stress once again that getting a fair deal done is our first priority. However, if labour action does take place, the work camp being constructed will house our highly-skilled management team as they assume the safe operation of our refinery. These are the same people that manage the safe operation of our refinery each and every day, and they will be the people that our community can trust to do so moving forward.”

In addition to housing the refinery’s management staff, the trailers are being set up to accommodate maintenance contractors, if required. These are the same contractors that the refinery uses when executing expansion projects and its multi-million dollar Turnarounds. As such, they have a high familiarity with the refinery’s operations.