Here’s a look at Co-op's 'final offer' and why Unifor is unhappy with its changes
A Unifor flag seen at a Rally in Regina. (Brendan Ellis/CTV News)
REGINA -- The union representing locked out workers at the Co-op Refinery Complex says a new offer from the company includes “new, aggressive concessions” as the bitter labour dispute continues well past 100 days.
Co-op stated the deal is based on the recommendations of provincially-appointed special mediators Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers after the company said it could not accept all of the terms laid out in the report released last week, with the effects of COVID-19 named as a factor.
“The special mediators did their job and we thank them for bringing our two parties closer to a deal,” Co-op said in a Tweet. “We have taken the recommendations in their report and built on them.”
“Today, we have provided [Unifor 594] a fair and final offer.”
Union leadership believes this tabled deal is anything but fair and is again calling for the provincial government to step in and end the dispute, which began on Dec. 5.
“Right from the beginning, we called for mediation to be binding, not a friendly suggestion for Co-op to ignore,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said in a press release. “The province must introduce legislation to end this dispute and force this rogue employer to restore safe operation of Saskatchewan’s largest refinery.”
In a summary released by Co-op, the company wants to modify five areas of the mediator’s recommendations including the defined benefit plan and the employee savings plan.
The union says the modifications in the offer include “significant reduction” in the company’s pension responsibilities and employee savings plan.
In a vote taken Monday, Unifor 594 members voted 98 per cent in favour of the mediator’s terms that include workers making an eight per cent pension contribution.