Unifor fined $250K after second contempt of court ruling in Co-op Refinery labour dispute
A Unifor flag seen at a rally in Regina. (Brendan Ellis/CTV News)
REGINA -- Unifor has been found guilty of contempt of court for a second time in the labour dispute at the Co-op Refinery Complex.
Justice Robertson made his ruling on Wednesday, fining the union $250,000.
"There is no doubt that the terms of the injunction are being violated,” Justice Robertson said in his decision. "The Union is found guilty of contempt of court for repeated breaches of the Injunction between Dec. 28 and Jan. 27."
The union has been given the option to pay the full fine to the courts, or pay $125,000 to the courts and $125,000 to Street Culture Project Inc. by Feb. 28.
Unifor Local 594 Vice-President Lance Holowachuk has also been found guilty of contempt and ordered to complete 40 hours of community service.
Union President Kevin Bittman was found not guilty.
Co-op has been given authorization to remove the barricades blocking entrances to its property. The injunction has also been amended to authorize police to "take any lawful measure they deem necessary to enforce the Injunction".
"With this ruling in Regina, we hope that Unifor will obey the law and abide by the decision of the court," the Co-op Refinery Complex said in a news release.
Jerry Dias says the union will be looking at its options for challenging the decision.
"We will definitely pay the $125,000 to a social agency, that's something that we do on a regular basis anyway and we're going to have a discussion internally about the $125,000,” he said.
"Today's court ruling is no big shock, the system is certainly stacked against working class people,” Dias said.
The injunction has also been amended to state, “Unifor Canada, Local 594 and all of its members, and any other person having notice of this order” are prohibited from blocking ingress or egress for longer than 10 minutes.