Spirits high among Co-op refinery workers as lockout reaches one month

Co-op refinery workers continue to walk the picket lines a month after they voted for job action and Federated Co-op locked them out of the facility.

It has been a long few weeks, but employees such as Kevin Wenaus, who works in instrumentation at the refinery, are taking the experience positively.

He said they want to get back to work as soon as possible, however workers have been sticking together to get through this situation.

“The morale out here is really good and everyone is banding together really well,” shared Wenaus. “In the cold, it’s not making it easy for us. But I know we’re sticking together.”

Since the lockout, workers continue to wave their flags and wave to motorists who drive by the facility at all hours of the day and night.

Wenaus mentioned how it was tough for him and other refinery workers to be walking during the holidays when all they want is to be inside working and doing what they are trained to do.

But he said he and his colleagues are willing to walk the line for as long as it takes.

“It’s kind of how it seems for a lot of people. We’re sticking together holding the company to what they promised us.”

Wenaus hasn’t heard too much about how bargaining has advanced between the two sides, but he said it seems pretty quiet and that the company isn’t interested in coming to the table.

“They keep putting publications and billboards out instead of bargaining with us. It’s tough to see that.”

Pensions are one of the main items surrounding the dispute.

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