Judge orders union let trucks into refinery every 5 minutes
REGINA -- It has been 15 days since a labour dispute began between Unifor 594 and the employer, the Co-op Refinery. Now a Regina judge has put restriction on union members.
According to court documents, the refinery alleges individual picketers have intimidated and assaulted personnel attempting to cross the picket line.
It also says picketers have been obstructing access to and from the refinery, and are going beyond conveying information and soliciting support.
The hearing of the injunction is not until Monday, but justice Janet McMurtry says picketers are causing serious delays for Co-op.
She ordered Unifor to allow trucks to enter after waiting no more than five minutes.
Last week, dozens of trucks were lined up at the refinery entrance as they were being allowed in at two hour intervals.
"The only way we are going to end this dispute is for the two parties to talk,” Kevin Bittman, president of Unifor Local 594, said. “The courts are certainly not going to change this. The Regina police are not going to change this, their security team isn’t going to change it. The only way we are going to resolve this is if we get together and figure out a way to find a deal both parties can live with."
He says the point of members picketing is to create economic pressure on the employer.
Bittman says taking the matter to court will not bring either side closer to a deal.