American actor wades into Co-op Refinery labour dispute
REGINA -- American actor Danny Glover waded into the Co-op Refinery labour dispute on Monday, sending out a tweet supporting locked out Unifor workers.
Alec Couros, a Technology and Media Professor at the University of Regina, says Glover's tweet can provide a morale boost for the workers and draw a lot of outside attention to the dispute.
"That could really amplify the opinion of this because you’re seeing a celebrity, who has something like 2.2 million followers,” Couros said. “All of sudden this relatively obscure, Regina, Saskatchewan labour strife is going on and that gets a lot of other people, other labour organizations looking at the hashtag."
According to Unifor’s website, Glover has previously spoken at Unifor events and is a honourary member of the union.
The labour dispute has been tense on the picket lines, but also on social media with Unifor's ‘Meet the Scabs’ and ‘Boycott Co-op’ campaign to Federated Co-operatives Ltd. advertising its refinery facts website.
Couros says social media provides both sides a way to get their message to the public outside the picket line.
"Each side of these organizations is able to tell you a much deeper story, a much more detailed story from their perspective, where the truth lines up is somewhere in between,” Couros said.
More than 50 days into the labour dispute, Unifor and F.C.L. are speaking, however progress towards returning to the bargaining table remains slow.
City of Regina leaders continue to urge both sides to reach an agreement as soon as possible.
“The quicker we can get that situation resolved and get back to business as usual, the better for everybody,” said Chief Evan Bray of the Regina Police Service.
“Hopefully they will rise above the issues they have facing and know that it's in everyone's interest, both for public safety and for commerce, to have a collective agreement and move forward,” said Michael Fougere, Mayor of Regina.
Unifor National President Jerry Dias met with F.C.L. CEO Scott Banda in a private meeting on Monday. CTV News reached out to both sides for reaction on the meeting, however they declined to comment.