Provincial government closely monitoring Co-op refinery strike

The Co-op labour dispute will be monitored closely by the provincial government until a deal has been reached.

Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said the strike is a serious issue for Saskatchewan.

He discussed a number of reasons that are impacted by the labour dispute, including 1,100 jobs at stake and communities across Saskatchewan that rely on the refinery’s supply.

But the issues stretch outside of Saskatchewan, too.

Morgan said some smaller centres in Western Canada rely on Co-op since they are their only supplier.

“It’s the main supply line for Co-ops across Saskatchewan, Alberta and into the interior of B.C.,” explained Morgan.

“If they don’t have an alternate supply, you won’t have sufficient fuel at those locations, and whether it filters into other areas because they make specialty fuels used for diesels underground or aviation fuel.”

The minister mentioned that the government has provided a mediator already and they are ready to further assist both sides to help them find a deal sooner rather than later.

“We’ve indicated to both sides that if there is anything else they want from us by way of mediation, arbitration or conciliation, we’ll make those facilities available at any time.”

Morgan added that the government will be monitoring operations carefully to ensure supplies are continued and temporary workers are safe.

Both Occupational Health and Safety and the Technical Safety Authority of Saskatchewan are keeping watch at the facility for safety and security purposes.

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