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Fuel haulers rally downtown over union barricades at Co-op Refinery Complex
Truck drivers who haul fuel for Federated Co-operatives Limited and the Co-op Refinery Complex held a protest in Regina’s downtown on Thursday over barricades in place at the refinery.
The Regina Police Service says it was not made aware of the protest beforehand, but is working to learn more about the plan.
“Our expectation is that, as professional drivers, they will obey the rules of the road, obey traffic signals and not impede other traffic,” RPS said.
C.S. Day Transportation Ltd. followed up saying that it did make RPS Chief Evan Bray aware of the protest plans.
"We did email Evan Bray last night with a copy of the press release, the route map, and a copy of the instructions given to our drivers. We care as much about safety as RPS," Heather Day of C.S. Day Transportation said in an email.
The Independent Lease Operators met at City Hall before staging “protest laps” around downtown, including the police station.
The group is demanding the barricades at the refinery be removed and that truck access be restored.
“While the Lease Operators respect Unifor’s right to peacefully picket, the illegal barricades do not represent peaceful protest in any way and need to come down,” a release sent by the group reads. “With the blockades stretching to nearly three weeks, the transportation companies are now facing the possibility of severe financial hardship, potential employee layoffs and some are even at risk of closing their doors permanently.”
The barricade was taken down and trucks were allowed in last week as Co-op and Unifor returned to the bargaining table, but was restored after talks broke down between the two sides.
Refinery workers have now been on the picket lines for over 60 days.