Meili pushes Premier Moe to end Co-op refinery lockout with binding arbitration

Ryan Meili, leader of the Saskatchewan NDP, has repeated his call to Premier Scott Moe to recall the legislature – this time to help end the labour dispute between Federated Co-op (FCL) and workers at the Co-op refinery in Regina.

He feels the best route to a solution is by passing legislation to impose binding arbitration, which would require some form of the legislature to resume during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meili said on Wednesday afternoon this is a problem that has gone on for far too long.

“Tension is rising. We saw the story of a potential bomb threat against workers on the line, we’re hearing about the challenges farmers are facing as this is showing up in rural sites to get fuel,” stated Meili.

His call comes after Unifor 594, the local that represents the workers, revealed a bomb threat letter against Unifor members if their blockades at the refinery were not taken down. The letter was obtained through a Freedom of Information request by Unifor from the Regina Police Service.

Chief of Police Evan Bray shared on Tuesday that the letter was sent to the provincial government and Regina Mayor Michael Fougere back in February, however that information was not passed on to workers, the union or FCL at the time.

Meili said it’s deeply concerning that the letter was in the hands of Attorney General Don Morgan and he didn’t send out a proper warning.

“He didn’t share that information with the premier apparently and he definitely didn’t share it with the workers themselves. That to me is extremely dangerous,” he noted.

After the letter was made public on Unifor 594’s website, the Regina Police Service stated there was “no credible threat” to anyone at the refinery site following an investigation into the threat.

Meili added that if the situation continues with no resolution, it will be bad for the province, workers and the economy, and it may result in someone getting seriously hurt.

“There’s frustration from the folks on the line, frustration from farmers who may not be able to access fuel during seeding time. It is absolutely time that Scott Moe recognizes he is responsible.”


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