FCL compensating truck drivers affected by Unifor blockades

Sask. Trucking Association demands 'respect for truck drivers' at Co-op Refinery
FCL is providing special cash payments to help support independent lease operators who have lost the opportunity to earn income as a result of Unifor’s blockades. Connor O'Donovan / Global News

Truckers affected by the ongoing labour dispute between the Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) and Unifor are being compensated.

Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) said they are “committed to providing financial relief” to all the of the independent truckers contracted by FCL, negatively impacted by the Unifor’s illegal blockades at Regina’s Co-op refinery and other FCL sites.

READ MORE: Special mediator Vince Ready begins work in Unifor Local 594 and Co-op labour dispute

“We value the perseverance and support of all our independent trucking fleet partners and we recognize how badly Unifor’s illegal blockades hurt them,” said Scott Banda, FCL CEO.

“Unifor’s illegal actions have negatively affected their individual well-being and that of their families, so we’re doing all we can to help them.”

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FCL said they are providing cash payments to the truck drivers – approximately 75 per cent of what they would normally be paid.

Retroactive payments will be made to lease operators in Regina, Carseland, Alta. and Winnipeg.

Unifor National President Jerry Dias said this is evidence that FCL can afford to keep the direct benefit pension plan as is.

“Federated Co-op handing out cash to truckers is more evidence it has deep pockets. FCL can easily afford to end its attack on refinery workers’ pensions and sign a fair contract to end its 11-week lockout,” Dias said in a statement.

READ MORE: Regina police chief calls blockade tactics by Unifor ‘borderline terrorist work’

“The last two months have been difficult for both small and large independent lease operators,” said Heather Day, C.S. Day Transport president and Saskatchewan Trucking Association’s board of directors member.

“The men and women who join the trucking industry, and particularly the fuel transportation sector, are vitally aware of our responsibilities to the public and the essential role we play in maintaining Canadians’ way of life.

“We’re very appreciative that FCL and CRC recognize the hardships that we have endured during this labour disruption. The lease operators, drivers, and our other staff take immense pride in helping to fuel Western Canada and are wholly committed to ensuring fuel is delivered across the West.”

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The compensation will assist about 40 lease-operated trucking companies, employing close to 160 trucks.

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