Co-op, Unifor ratify new seven-year contract after six-month labour dispute

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REGINA — Hundreds of workers at Regina’s Co-op oil refinery complex will be returning to work after ratification of a tentative contract.

The agreement brings an ends to a six-month labour dispute that began after refinery owner Federated Co-operatives Ltd. locked out more than 700 workers last December following a strike vote.

The company says the new contract is a seven-year deal and that employees will return to work in the coming weeks.

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Unifor Local 594 had encouraged members to vote in favour of the deal, which the union says maintained the defined pension plan.

It says the new collective agreement also includes wage improvements that meet the standards agreed to by Unifor’s energy sector unions.

For weeks, union members and the Saskatchewan NDP had called on Premier Scott Moe to intervene and end the dispute by legislating binding arbitration.

The company says the labour disruption was difficult for everyone and the deal reflects the fiscal realities for refineries.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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