FCL disappointed to see Unifor barricades at Saskatoon Co-op locations days before bargaining begins

Federated Co-operatives Limited says with only a few days until bargaining is set to resume, Unifor has used fences to blockade the FCL bulk fuel terminal, propane branch and cardlock in Saskatoon’s biz hub.

FCL CEO Scott Banda describes the action as disappointing but not surprising. He says the company is taking the appointment of a special mediator and resumption of bargaining on February 18th, very seriously. And they want the union to do the same by ending the blockades.

Unifor says the barricading continues because more replacement workers and trailers are arriving at the refinery.

The blockades have continued into Friday.

Vivian Molnar is among one of the workers at the new barricade, and says the purpose of the Saskatoon blockade is to put more pressure on FCL to get them back to the bargaining table.

“(We hope they) do it in good faith, and make an offer that is respectful, reasonable, and something that our negotiating committee can bring back to the membership and say ‘here’s something to vote on,’” Molnar said. “Whether we accept it or reject it, but at least we have an offer.”

Unifor says they let out trucks that were already at the cardlock before setting up the fence, although they say they won’t be letting in any trucks into the facility as long as they’re present.

Well known labor dispute mediator Vince Ready has been appointed by the province as a special mediator to assist in the dispute between Federated Co-op and Unifor.

Workers at the Co-op Refinery Complex have been locked out since December 5th after issuing a 48 hour strike notice.

If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the mediator will provide the parties and the minister with recommended terms for agreement.

The two sides have 20 days to reach a settlement.

(CJWW)

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