All trucks released from Co-op Refinery, RPS seizes 31 vehicles at picket line
REGINA -- A privately contracted fuel truck driver was one of eight who were locked inside the Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC).
Seven truckers were locked inside the Ninth Avenue loading terminal, they have since been released. An eighth driver was locked inside the McDonald Street loading terminal, but was allowed to leave around 1:15 p.m.
The drivers and their trucks went into the refinery around 3 a.m. Thursday morning to fuel up. Before they could leave, the drivers allege Unifor members set up gates and locked the drivers inside.
Unifor representative Scott Doherty said truckers knew there was a risk associated with entering the refinery.
Blake Ratcliffe told CTV News, through a fence, that he’s had better mornings.
“Some drivers and a couple owner operators are locked in here also,” he said. “We just want to haul fuel and get it out to the public.”
Ratcliffe said he feels like he’s caught in the middle of a dispute that does not involve him, or the other independent truckers employed by Co-op.
“I have six drivers, just trying to make a living for them, keep them going and get paid,” he said.
Ratcliffe said the truckers locked inside did not have access to food.
The Regina Police Service says it has not opened gates at the refinery, following reports to the contrary.
“Our officers seized 31 vehicles at the refinery complex last night, but our officers did not open any gates,” RPS said in an emailed news release.
The statement from Regina police comes after a release from C.S. Day Transportation Ltd. which said “that the gates were briefly opened by RPS at about 3ish this morning.”
C.S. Day Transportation Ltd. also said there were a number of trucks locked inside the refinery overnight.