Saskatoon Co-op Board impelled to intervene on behalf of Co-op Refinery workers

Co-op Refinery workers have been locked out by management since December 5, 2019.

SASKATOON—Co-op Members for Fairness (CM4F) has urged the Saskatoon Co-op to intervene in the lockout of the workers at the Co-op Refinery, represented by Unifor 594.

In a letter sent to the Saskatoon Co-operative Association Board of Directors on Friday, CM4F expressed its support for the locked-out Refinery workers and petitioned the Board to exert its influence to resolve the lockout by directing the Co-op Refinery management to get back to the table to negotiate fairly with these workers.

The lock-out at CRC is part of an alarming pattern of contentious labour relations within the Co-op system, with the Moose Jaw strike in the fall of 2018, followed by the strike at Saskatoon Co-op stores that lasted over 5 months. Profits from the oil refinery are essential to all retail co-ops, and consequently, the lock-out has profound effects on the financial sustainability of the Co-op system.  

CM4F urged the Board to discuss the letter at its Monday, Jan 13th meeting, act on its direction, and respond within 10 days.

CM4F believes co-operative values – democracy, equality, equity, mutual support, and dignity for all – should guide the operations of the Co-op.  Fair and respectful labour relations are a fundamental component of good governance of co-operatives.

CM4F continues to organize to ensure that the Board reflects the needs and aspirations of the Co-op membership.  The group welcomes all Co-op members to come to the next CM4F Town Hall meeting, Wednesday Feb 12, Station 20 West, 7 – 9 pm.

For more infomation, contact: Jason Hicks, jasonghicks@gmail.com

Text of the letter

Friday, January 10, 2020
Saskatoon Co-op Association
Board of Directors
Administrative Office
201- 503 Wellman Crescent
Saskatoon, SK S7T 0J1

Dear Mr. Graham Addley,

Re: Lockout at the Co-op Refinery Complex

At the Wednesday, January 8, 2020 Town Hall of the Co-op Members for Fairness (CM4F), the following resolution was discussed, voted on and passed unanimously:

Whereas the current lockout at the Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) affects the bottom line of all retail co-ops including Saskatoon Co-operative Association,

Whereas oil refinery profits are essential to all retail co-ops,

And whereas the Co-op Members for Fairness (CM4F) strongly support the locked out refinery workers of Unifor 594,

Be it resolved that the CM4F strongly urge the Saskatoon Co-operative Association Board of Directors to exert any and all of their influence to resolve this lockout and direct the Co-op Refinery Complex management to get back to the table to negotiate fairly with these workers.

The CM4F ask that this letter be placed on the agenda of the next Board meeting and urge the board members to discuss the resolution and act on its direction.

We request the Board respond to this correspondence within ten days following the next Board Meeting. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Michael Rohatynsky
Recording Secretary
Co-op Members for Fairness

Co-op Members for Fairness are members and workers restoring cooperative values and practices to the Co-op system. Read more about us: https://coopmembersforfairness.ca/about

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