Unifor sets up blockades at a Co-op office and card-lock station in Regina

After more than one month of an ongoing lockout, Unifor Local 594 members have now locked out Co-op managers from one of their offices in Regina and blocked the cardlock on Fleet Street.

In a release, Unifor national president Jerry Dias says after locking out their loyal employees, its time they get a taste of their own medicine, adding the managers will be locked out until further notice.

Unifor has chosen to set up blockades using vehicles and fences to keep managers and temporary workers from entering the Federated Co-op offices on Turvey Road along with the cardlock station and propane facilities.

Kevin Bittman, president of Unifor Local 594, says the public needs to know their co-operative is turning into a big corporation and they are starting to lose their roots.

“Their co-op system is under attack. They are spending a billion dollars of the Co-op members’ money to put us on the line and lock us out, when we are asking for what we were promised and status quo,” shared Bittman.

“My members have planned their whole careers around retiring on that pension, and to ask them now at the end of their careers to change with no time to catch up, is not right.”

Bittman said picketers are allowing anyone inside the building to leave the premises, but they aren’t allowed to re-enter. The blockades will be set up indefinitely.

Brad DeLorey, with the Co-op Refinery, says these blockades are a threat to public safety. “Cardlock stations, any fuel stations and the refinery contain flammable compounds and require emergency access at all times. It is imperative we have access to these facilities.”

DeLorey says Co-op is working with emergency response stakeholders and exploring all legal options to get managers back in the office.

He adds that through all of this, the company has noticed people still using coop gas bars, which he says is a positive. “These people are very much committed to Co-op, they’re committed to the refinery and we can’t say enough to them and thank them for their support.”

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