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Unifor announces ‘informal meeting’ with refinery reps in Saskatoon

Scott Doherty, executive assistant to Unifor's national president and the lead negotiator in bargaining with Federated Co-operatives Ltd., announces an informal meeting between the union and FCL.
Scott Doherty, executive assistant to Unifor's national president and the lead negotiator in bargaining with Federated Co-operatives Ltd., announces an informal meeting between the union and FCL. Adrian Raaber / Global News

Unifor bosses will be meeting with the Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL) CEO on Monday afternoon in Saskatoon.

“This is just an informal meeting,” Scott Doherty, executive assistant to Unifor’s national president, told reporters Monday at 1 p.m. in front of Co-op Refinery Complex’s Gate 7. “This is not bargaining.

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“We won’t be making a proposal to the employer today.”

Doherty, Unifor national president Jerry Dias and Local 594 present Kevin Bittman will be talking with FCL’s Scott Banda at 4 p.m., Doherty said.

READ MORE: Court order aims to ease rising tensions between Unifor, Regina’s Co-op Refinery

More than 700 workers of FCL’s Regina refinery have been locked out by their employer since Dec. 5, following the breakdown of contract negotiations around pension security.

The labour dispute has since escalated. Just before Christmas, the company sought and was granted an injunction after alleging picketers were preventing vehicles carrying workers and supplies from entering the facility. Last week, the union was found in contempt of court.

READ MORE: Regina mayor expresses ‘deep concern’ for public safety to Unifor president amid refinery lockout

Hundreds of labour advocates from across the country have landed in Regina to support the employees on the picket line. They set up blockades around the Co-op Refinery Complex. Unifor’s national president and 13 picketers were arrested.

READ MORE: Unions across Canada throw support behind Unifor in Regina: ‘We’re all blue collar workers’

“Local 594 made significant moves on Tuesday to try and resolve and end this dispute,” Doherty said, referring to the union softening its stance around defined benefit contribution pension plans.

“We’ll see what comes out of the meeting.”

Unifor represents some Global News employees across the country.

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