Unifor’s call for boycott no surprise, out of touch with Western Canada
December 15, 2019
Unifor’s announcement calling for a boycott of community-owned local co-ops across Western Canada comes as no surprise, but it is disappointing. This Toronto-based union continues to demonstrate that it simply doesn’t understand the refining industry or the Western Canadian economy.
Over the past week, Unifor has demonstrated that they have no respect for the hard-working truck drivers who haul fuel from our refinery and no respect for Western Canadian farmers who need fuel to dry and haul their grain during a very difficult crop year.
Unifor is now demonstrating that same lack of respect for Co-op members across Western Canada that work hard to support our economy. Local co-ops across the west have invested billions in the Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) to grow and expand the refinery’s operation over the past decade. For example, in 2013, Co-op opened the $3.67B Section V expansion, which created 150 new unionized positions. This investment also created significant economic growth for Regina and Saskatchewan. Local co-ops and their members deserve more respect for these investments and the prosperity they’ve produced.
Despite Unifor’s misleading claims today, we have offered them a fair deal. Our deal includes an 11.75 per cent wage increase, a performance bonus plan and pension choice. The CRC is only asking that employees now begin to pay into their pension like almost every other Canadian with a company-provided pension plan.
We encourage Unifor to return to the table and bargain, something they haven’t done since Sept. 26, 2019. In fact, Unifor has yet to even offer a counter-proposal during the negotiation process. It’s time to get back to the table and have meaningful talks.