Unifor asks members from across Canada to support Regina refinery workers

REGINA — The union representing hundreds of Regina Co-op oil refinery workers is asking locals from across Canada to send members to Saskatchewan as a show of solidarity.

Scott Doherty, executive assistant to Unifor's national president, says the call-out could mean the arrival of hundreds of supporters.

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More than 700 refinery workers have been off work for more than a month, after the company locked them out after the union issued a strike notice.

Lana Payne, Unifor's national secretary-treasurer, told workers on the picket line in -25 C weather that the union plans to escalate its campaign to get a deal with Co-op.

Doherty says the union will continue to ramp up its national boycott against the company and support secondary picketing in other locations across Western Canada.

The company says it's committed to collective bargaining and is ready to resume negotiations with Unifor.

Co-op has been housing replacement workers on the refinery site and flying supplies in with a helicopter. Last month, it went to court and was granted an injunction that restricts how long pickets can block trucks entering and leaving the facility.

Both sides have been divided over issues surrounding the workers' pension plan.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan 7, 2020

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