Regina Chamber of Commerce hopeful for an end to the Co-op refinery lock out

The CEO of the Regina Chamber of Commerce is hopeful the Co-op Refinery Complex and Unifor Local 594 can get back to the bargaining table shortly.

Union members have been locked out since December 5th, as they continue to fight for pension security, while the refinery has said they are offering 11.75 percent over four years in wage increases, with the option to switch to the company’s defined contribution pension plan.

John Hopkins said this lock out has a city-wide impact.

“There’s a number of people obviously there that are not working at this point and are on strike pay, so that will have an impact on everything from coffee shops to retail, the list kind of goes on,” Hopkins said. “The longer it goes, the more of an impact it will have, not only in Regina, but surrounding areas.

Hopkins said there’s a general concern over this labour dispute.

“It’s a pretty large strike, there’s a lot of different things going on, blocking trucks from accessing the refinery, helicopters in the sky, that type of thing,” Hopkins said. “It’s not something that we’ve seen in recent memory for sure, so this is quite the labour dispute, and it’s something we haven’t seen in quite some time.”

While the timing of the lock out makes it unlikely, Hopkins adds he remains hopeful this work disruption can end before the new year.

More from 620 CKRM