Steps taken to ensure staff safety and secure fuel supply
December 8, 2019
The Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) has been respectful of Unifor 594 members’ right to strike and to peacefully protest. We will continue to respect those rights while ensuring the safety of our people, community and protecting the Western Canadian fuel supply.
Unfortunately, our respect for their rights has been met with inappropriate and dangerous behaviour by Unifor members on the picket line. CRC employees have been harassed, accosted and verbally abused when crossing picket lines, and we simply won’t stand for that behaviour. Unifor members have also held up shipments of food for management focused on running the plant safely, as well as attempted to block shipments of parts needed to safely run the refinery. Through these actions, Unifor’s Toronto-based leadership has made it clear that they do not share our respectful Western Canadian values, and it’s time they took their business elsewhere.
Due to the dangerous situation at the picket lines and the need to ensure the safe operation of our refinery, we have brought in helicopters to transport our staff safely across the picket lines. Helicopters have always been in our business continuity plan as a contingency, but we had hoped that Unifor would remain respectful on the picket line and that they would not be required.
We also want to reassure Western Canadians about their fuel supply. Unifor is working hard to disrupt our fuel trucks coming in and out of the refinery. Despite Unifor’s goal to shut down the fuel supply from our refinery, you can rest assured that we are working hard to move fuel safely from our refinery to your co-ops and your gas and diesel tanks.
We take our responsibility for the safety of our community and to Western Canadians’ fuel supply seriously. Any threat to the well-being of our people, and to the operational integrity of the refinery, will not be tolerated.