UE Stands in Solidarity with Unifor Refinery Workers, Condemns Aggressive Police Tactics

January 21, 2020

UE's officers released the following statement today in solidarity with Unifor Local 594

UE stands in full solidarity with the members of Unifor Local 594 who have been locked out by Co-op Refinery in Regina, Saskatchewan, and the members of Unifor who have come from across Canada to support them. We unequivocally condemn the heavy-handed and aggressive tactics used by the Regina Police, including the arrest on Monday January 20 of Unifor National President Jerry Dias, Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle, and other Unifor members.

Unifor Local 594 members have been locked out since December 5. Co-op Refinery, which makes profits of $3 million per day, is demanding that workers accept steep concessions on their pension plan. Hundreds of Unifor members have come to Regina to join Local 594 members in peaceful protest against this corporate greed.

Ironically, the arrests of Unifor members occurred as we in the U.S. were celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” that “an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.”

We join Unifor in demanding that the Regina police halt the unprovoked arrest of peacefully protesting union members, and that Co-op Refinery return to the bargaining table and settle a fair contract with their workers.

Carl Rosen
General President

Andrew Dinkelaker

Gene Elk
Director of Organization


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