Unifor illegally blockades Co-op in Regina
January 16, 2020
Today Unifor again chose to attack local businesses by illegally erecting fencing around a Co-op site in Regina as a result of the labour dispute they initiated at the Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) in December.
Similar to its actions on Jan. 10 in Regina and Jan. 13 in Weyburn, Unifor has set up an illegal blockade. It is not allowing any customers to access a Sherwood Co-op gas bar and Home Centre on Winnipeg Street and Ninth Avenue. Sherwood Co-op’s administrative offices are also at this site.
Even though Unifor continues to use these illegal tactics, the CRC continues to safely produce fuel at regular levels and supply it to local co-ops. While Unifor’s illegal blockade has an impact on this site’s business today, we know that every day all across Western Canada Co-op members and customers continue to take advantage of full service and fuel up at their local co-op.
Instead of employing aggressive tactics like this, we encourage Unifor to drop its “irrevocable clause,” an insistence that bargaining can only take place if FCL agrees to never make changes to the current, 100 per cent employer-paid defined benefit pension plan. The current plan is not competitive against Co-op’s competitors in the refining sector and costs local co-ops across Western Canada, including Sherwood Co-op and its members, hundreds of millions of dollars to maintain. These are dollars that would otherwise be returned to local co-ops, then passed along to individual co-op members in the form of cash back and equity.
The energy sector is unpredictable and we know that changes have to happen. FCL has stated clearly that it’s willing to find a path to a deal once Unifor removes its demand for no changes to the pension plan. Unfortunately, Unifor has refused to engage in meaningful bargaining since Sept. 26, 2019, when Unifor declared an impasse in bargaining. Unifor issued a 48-hour notice to strike on Dec. 3, 2019, which the CRC responded to with a lockout notice in order to ensure the safety and reliability of the refinery.
More information on the CRC’s offer is available at refineryfacts.ca.