Canada's Co-op Refinery reaches tentative deal with Unifor to end labor dispute

(Reuters) - Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC), western Canada’s third-largest oil refinery, said on Thursday it reached a tentative deal with the country’s largest private sector union, potentially ending a months-long labor dispute.

The deal offered to Unifor 594, the union representing CRC’s workers, includes monetary offer along with a return-to-work agreement, according to the refinery’s statement.

Federated Cooperatives Ltd, which owns and operates CRC refinery in Regina, Saskatchewan, and the refinery workers have been locked in a dispute for months after the management locked out 800 employees on Dec. 5 over pensions-related disagreement.

“The labour disruption has been a difficult process for everyone involved, but we are hopeful that the membership will ratify the deal, and our employees will return to work soon,” said Gil Le Dressay, vice president of refinery operations at CRC.

Unifor 594 will hold a ratification vote to finalize the deal and if it’s agreed upon, CRC will begin the process of getting the employees back to work.

Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli