October 16, 2019 / 4:09 PM / a month ago

Canada's Co-op Refinery preparing for possible strike action

(Reuters) - The 135,000 barrel per day Co-op Refinery Complex in Regina, Saskatchewan, is preparing for possible strike action after the local workers union declared an impasse in negotiations over pensions.

Federated Co-operatives Limited began constructing a work camp on Tuesday to house temporary contract workers in case of a strike, Gil Le Dressay, vice president refinery operations, said in a statement.

Refinery management and workers are in a dispute over pension contributions. Unifor 594, the union representing more than 800 workers, declared an impasse on Sept. 26 and began mediation that is ongoing.

Unifor 594 president Kevin Bittman said in a statement the work camp construction was a show of bad faith by management.

Le Dressay said the refinery’s primary goal is to reach a fair deal and keep employees working.

“However, we must be prepared to safely run our refinery in the event of a labor disruption,” he added.

Reporting by Nia Williams; Editing by Chris Reese

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