The Co-op Refinery is calling the union’s latest tactics a “threat to public safety” in a news release that acknowledges a new development in the labour dispute that has stretched into it sixth week.
On Friday morning, the Co-op Cardlock on Fleet Street had been blocked in by a combination of vehicles and fencing.
Unifor Local 594 shared a statement on Friday that it has locked managers out of their office indefinitely.
We've taken it to FCL’s office, they're the ones funding this, it's the retailers' money that they're using to fly in the helicopters and they locked us out of our work, so we're going to take it to their head office here in Regina and lock them out of their work,” Union president Kevin Bittman said.
“This site has large volumes of both fuel and propane. Distribution of propane at this time of year is critical to heat homes, dry grain and heat livestock facilities and construction sites,” the Co-op Refinery Complex said in a news release.
Co-op is concerned about emergency crews having access to the facilities. They also say this move by Unifor violates December’s court order and they are looking into their legal options.
The lockout by Unifor comes the day after what the CRC calls “disgusting video of replacement workers that puts their personal safety at risk.”
On Thursday, Unifor shared a video on Twitter that shows the identities of the replacement or “scab” workers who have been working at the refinery as the labour dispute continues.
Meet the Co-op Scabs.
There is never an excuse to cross a picket line and steal from another worker's family. @Unifor594 members deserve a #fairdeal from greedy @CoopRefinery #canlab pic.twitter.com/MhhZM0zySN
“We will ensure that we protect the safety and well-being of those individuals featured in the video,” said Gil Le Dressay, Vice President of Refinery Operations in a press release. “These folks are on our site doing a job that we need them to do, and they are committed and want to be here. They do not deserve to be treated this way. Unifor’s behaviour and these tactics are not acceptable.”
Co-op is providing mental health and legal support to the workers depicted in the video and the company is also looking at legal options to have the video taken down.
Regina police tweeted that it is aware of the situation and looking into the legalities of it.