Co-op announces fiscal 2019 figures as Unifor labour dispute enters mediation

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WATCH: Federated Co-op is celebrating a successful 2019, touting it as one of its best financial years ever. – Mar 2, 2020

Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL) has announced 2019 was its second-best financial year in its more than 90-year history.

The organization held its annual meeting in Saskatoon on March 2 and said it recorded revenues of $9.2 billion.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan government appoints special mediator in Unifor, Co-op dispute

FCL’s chief executive officer Scott Banda is optimistic about the cooperative’s future while a labour dispute continues at a Regina refinery.

March marks the third month of the lockout at the Co-op Refinery Complex in Regina.

About three dozen protesters staged a demonstration outside of TCU Place in Saskatoon over the weekend — the venue where the annual meeting took place.

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READ MORE: Unifor picketing Co-op annual meeting in Saskatoon

Banda made stern comments during his speech to the room of delegates.

“I’m very proud of the ethical stands we have taken, the integrity we have used. We’ve been consistent in our approach and our numbers,” he said.

“There has been a lot of theatrics on the other side and we’re just not interested in playing in those games.”

Unifor Local 594 declined to comment as both sides started mediation on March 2.

FCL’s revenue was slightly less than in 2018, which was $9.6 billion.

After a number of capital projects, like the construction of a new fertilizer terminal in Alberta, acquiring the Terra Grain Fuels ethanol production facility in Saskatchewan and a $237-million investment in the Regina refinery, profits totalled around $950 million.

READ MORE: Unifor establishes ‘illegal’ blockades around Co-op facilities in Yorkton: FCL

FCL said about two-thirds of its profits were returned to local cooperatives and their communities.

Banda also spoke with reporters about the future of Co-op’s business model with its stake in fossil fuels.

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He hopes there is clarity on government regulations around oil before FCL makes future investments.