REGINA, March 21, 2017 /CNW/ - Gil Le Dressay, Vice-President of Operations at the Co-op Refinery Complex today expressed disappointment that Unifor Local 594 has voted to reject the Company's final offer.
"The Refinery has never had a labour disruption in our history because we have always regarded the union as our partners in the success of the Refinery and the Co-operative Retailing System. It's disappointing to see that tradition of cooperation potentially interrupted at a time when we all need to work together to ensure that one of Saskatchewan's key economic engines remains competitive," said Le Dressay.
Le Dressay asserted that the Refinery came to the table with a fair offer intended to protect current employees' wages and benefits while at the same time ensuring the long-term success of the Co-op Refinery Complex.
"These are tough times in Saskatchewan and tough times in the oil and gas industry. Yet, in spite of that, we did not ask for job cuts, wage cuts or rollbacks of any kind. In fact, we offered wage increases and additional job security consistent with the national bargaining pattern set by Unifor and Suncor. We haven't asked our existing employees to sacrifice any of their wages or benefits under our offer. Our employees have one of the best wages and benefits packages in Canada and we're proud that we've always been able to compensate our employees well."
Le Dressay also assured residents of Regina that the Co-op Refinery's highly skilled, trained and experienced management team would continue to operate the refinery safely.
"Our management team consists of some of the best and most experienced people in our industry and I can assure the residents of Regina that our team will have all of the additional resources they need to operate our refinery safely in the event of a labour disruption."
Le Dressay also stressed the importance of delivering fuel to the Co-op retailing system especially in light of the fact spring seeding is just around the corner.
"We are confident we can maintain fuel supply to our retail system and want to assure our rural retailers in particular that we'll supply the product they need for spring seeding in the event of labour disruption. However if labour disruption does occur, our refinery's production levels will be decreased to ensure safe operations; in other words, our focus is always on maximum safety rather than maximum output."
Le Dressay urged the union to return to the bargaining table.
"There are a lot of people who will be hurt by a labour disruption, including union members. We want to be talking to our union partners face-to-face instead of through the media and we hope that happens soon."
SOURCE Co-op Refinery Complex
For further information: Brad DeLorey, Director, Communications and Public Safety, Co-op Refinery Complex: (306) 719-4548