UPDATE – The road that runs in front of the Co-Op Refinery Complex has been closed by Regina Police.
RPS sent out a news release Friday morning around 7:00 a.m. saying 9th Avenue North, between Winnipeg and McDonald Streets is “closed until further notice” adding an update will be provided when the road is re-opened.
However Unifor says that police closed the road late Thursday night so Co-op security begin removal of all blockades, Unifor adds they are now picketing inside Gate 7 and are not sure if they’ll be arrested if they return to blockade sites.
Regina Police have now confirmed this via a news release, but have not announced any additional arrests.
While the road is closed to traffic, semi’s have been seen passing through police barricades.
Police added once the road is re-open for all traffic an update will be provided.
Spoke to one of the officers at the fenced off intersection at 9th Ave and McDonald by the #Coop refinery. Says he's been here since 6 am and all he has been instructed to do is not let anyone through & let Co-op trucks out. I've seen them let a couple semis through.#Unifor #YQR pic.twitter.com/3iLFH77xz6
— Moises Canales (@MoisesCanalesJr) February 7, 2020
- Co-op seeking million dollar fine for Unifor after accusations of court injunctions being ignored more than 100 times
Members have been locked out of the complex since December 5th after issuing 48 hour strike notice.
Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Don Morgan released a statement this morning;
“The Government of Saskatchewan has been clear that the only way this situation will be resolved is if the parties agree to come to the table. We have made the offer of a special mediator to assist in bringing both parties back to the bargaining table to reach a negotiated settlement. The Government of Saskatchewan has been clear that the only way this situation will be resolved is if the parties agree to come to the table. We have made the offer of a special mediator to assist in bringing both parties back to the bargaining table to reach a negotiated settlement.
Special mediators have a track record of success in Saskatchewan when both parties were willing to come to the table as equal partners. In fact, since forming government, every appointment of a special mediator has resulted in the parties being able to reach a successful agreement. In 2011 a special mediator was brought in to assist in the conflict between the teachers and government, and again in 2016 between the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses and the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations. What Unifor is now proposing is effectively binding arbitration by another name. Binding arbitration is a mechanism available in any labour dispute in Saskatchewan if both sides agree to it. The government cannot impose it under the existing legislation. This dispute now has the potential to not only affect the Saskatchewan economy, but the safety and security of Saskatchewan families. While Unifor members have the right to take legal job action, they do not have the right to erect illegal blockades. We continue to encourage all parties to respect the law and we continue to expect the Regina Police Services to enforce the law. The province’s offer of appointing a special mediator contingent on the removal of the illegal blockades still stands.”- Don Morgan, Q.C., Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety.
Files from Drew Postey.