Unifor fences off Sherwood Co-op location near refinery as lock-out continues

The Sherwood Co-op location on Winnipeg Street and 9th Avenue north near Ring Road is fenced off by Unifor local 594 as part of their ongoing labour dispute with Federated Co-op.

This is the second time Unifor has locked out a Saskatchewan Co-op location this week after they barricaded the cardlock location in Weyburn on Monday.

594 President Kevin Bittman said he feels they still have the support of the public.

“We have a lot more honks than we do (middle) fingers in a day, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s the members that have to vote on a deal, and I think the company is trying really hard to get the public on board, but really, when you’re looking at the concessions we’re looking at, it’s our members that are going to have to vote on a deal, not the public.”

After concerns of Thursday’s protests being illegal, Bittman said that won’t be stopping them.

“Until the courts tell us that it’s illegal, then we’ll continue to do what we do,” Bittman said. “We have a constitutional right to picket, and that’s what we’re doing.”

However, FCL spokesperson Vic Huard said he’s disappointed Unifor would pursue illegal protests as opposed to trying to get a deal done.

“They’re erecting fences on public property (and) they’re blocking access, both in and out of, a business that is not related to the refinery,” Huard said. “The refinery complex is owned and operated by Federated Co-operative Limited, right now they’re blockading illegally a property owned and operated by Sherwood Co-op, which is the local Co-op in Regina.”

Huard added he finds it hard to believe Unifor has public support, as their Boycott has not resulted in a significant loss in sales. He also questioned why the union would feel the need to pursue these illegal protests if they had support from the public.

Huard also said FCL has been in contact with Regina Police, Refine Fire Department, the City of Regina, and Mayor Michael Fougere throughout the labour dispute.

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