Unifor, Co-op await report after special mediation window closes
REGINA -- Both Unifor 594 and Federated Co-op are waiting for a special mediator’s report that will be presented to the Provincial Government, after the 20-day government mandated mediation window ended.
"The parties will probably make their feelings known about that report and the minister can make the report public or he can hold onto for a little while. Once it becomes public though, it would probably put additional pressure on the parties to settle," University of Regina Human Resource Management Professor Sean Tucker said.
The province expects the report will suggest ways for each side to settle and will take four to five days to complete. As well, the review will most likely be made public.
“We expect the parties to get back to the table, to roll up their sleeves, do some work on the thing, look at the other positions that are being put forward and see if they can find a way to get a resolution," Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Don Morgan said.
“By virtue of making the report public, it doesn't force them back to work. That would require special legislation,” Tucker said.
A motion is set to be brought up at Regina City Council that calls on the province to implement binding arbitration, but Morgan says he is not a fan of that approach.
"It would require a piece of legislation to do that. It would require consent of the opposition and to me it's a sigh that bargaining has utterly failed, so we've said to the parties ‘you work this out,’" Morgan said.
In an internal memo obtained by CTV News, Unifor's bargaining committee said each side was asked to put forward their best proposals.
The memo said Unifor’s proposal “checked all the boxes, not just for our members, but also for the Co-op Refinery that met their goals of sustainability and stability.”
The memo also said it removed pension liabilities from the company’s books,
“Our proposal shifted the liabilities from the company to the union, which included fixed employer contribution rated and employee contributions,” the memo said.
Co-op says the process continues and is looking forward to reviewing the findings of the special mediators report.
"Well if we're in a 13 round heavyweight title fight, hopefully we're in round twelve, but we could be in round eight, and have a longer lockout, a longer dispute,” Tucker said.