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Co-op Refinery uses final offer tactic with union

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Regina—The Co-op Refinery has moved one step closer to a labour disruption after the employer served a final offer to its workers.

“Giving our union an ultimatum is a tactic that is doomed to fail,” said Kate McKinley, Unifor National Representative. “Labour negotiations have to be a ‘give and take’, not ‘take it or leave it’.”

Members of Unifor Local 594 meet on March 20 to discuss the offer. The union’s bargaining committee is recommending that members vote to reject the offer. The union says the company’s demands for concessions are out of line with the national bargaining pattern for the energy sector. Compared to other completed negotiations across the country, Unifor says its bargaining positions are basically the status quo.

“We’re disappointed a profitable refinery’s management has to take such extreme measures,” said McKinley. “If Co-op simply dropped their proposed concessions and committed to the national pattern agreement, we could have a deal tomorrow.”

Local 594 is also sounding the alarm about what could happen if the company tries to run the 81-year old refinery during a strike or lock-out without a full complement of trained staff.

“Attempting to run the Co-op Refinery during a labour stoppage would be very dangerous—not just for the poor souls on-site, but for the entire community,” said McKinley.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).