REGINA, Dec. 10, 2019 /CNW/ - The Regina Police Service (RPS) has supported Co-op Refinery's anti-union mandate by escorting vehicles through legal picket lines late Monday night, says Unifor.
"By intervening without a court order, RPS has shown not only highly questionable judgement, but also contempt for the highly-skilled workers fighting back against the company's aggressive demand for concessions," says Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "Unifor members have kept the picket lines rock solid and respectful."
Since being locked out by Co-op Refinery on December 5, picket lines of Unifor Local 594 members have allowed fuel trucks to enter and exit the refinery in a display of good faith. When RPS arrived on the scene of a parts supply van attempting to enter the refinery's gate #2, the officers threatened to arrest union members if they refused to let the van pass, siding with the company.
"There is no such thing as 'an essential replacement part' at this time, only parts that help Co-op continue to profit while workers are locked out," says Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the National President. "We have been clear from the beginning: if the company identifies that there is a danger to the public, Unifor members will help to safely shut the refinery down."
"We haven't had a problem with RPS until now," Doherty added. "It's one thing for Co-op to engage in union busting, but we never expected the police to unilaterally order vehicles through legal picket lines."
800 members of Unifor Local 594 covering 21 different job classifications across the Co-op Refinery have been locked out since 5:30 p.m. on December 5.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For further information: For media inquiries please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at [email protected] or 778-903-6549 (cell).