Prince George is experiencing some fallout from the lockout of 760 workers in Regina on December 5th who are now engaged in a labour dispute with the Co-op Refinery.

Fuel tanks outside of Prince George’s Co-op Cardlock (Photo supplied by Justin Madu, staff).

Bargaining talks fell apart late last year, leading to Co-op shutting its doors on over 700 workers.

Unifor, the union representing the workers, took to action and set up picket lines forcing Co-op to rely on replacement workers.

Pension plans play an important role in the conflict, said Unifor’s Western Regional Director, Gavin McGarrigle.

“The workers aren’t seeking anything new to their pension plan, they are simply seeking to keep the same pension plan that they have. They have offered to pay into the pension plan.”

A crowd of Unifor representatives gathered outside of Prince George’s Tidewater Midstream & Infrastructure Ltd. today, selectively blocking entry for trucks that fuel Co-op gas bars throughout the region.

McGarrigle is Unifor’s Western Regional Director (Photo supplied by Justin Madu, staff).

“What’s really strange about this, is that cooperatives are supposed to be about community and workers, they aren’t supposed to be like other corporations,” McGarrigle explained.

When asked about the primary goal of the demonstration, McGarrigle said:

“The workers that made the wealth are the ones that should have a decent retirement, some health and safety, and they should be respected,”

Unifor has been calling for a boycott following the events in December.