'A frustrating, stressful situation': Co-op Refinery truck drivers protest in downtown Regina

A Court of Queen's Bench judge is set to hold a contempt of court hearing Thursday about a picket line set up around the Co-op Refinery.

Contempt of court hearing set for Thursday afternoon in Co-op Refinery lockout

Drivers who deliver fuel for Federated Co-operatives Limited staged a protest in Regina Thursday. (Adam Hunter/CBC)

The owner of a Regina trucking company says the harassment of its drivers must end as the lockout of workers at the Co-op Refinery continues.

Heather Day of Regina-based C.S. Day Transport said drivers staged a protest through downtown Regina Thursday because they have been threatened and blocked from delivering fuel to Prairie communities by union members.

She said the lockout has cost trucking companies and staff more than $10 million.

"There's plenty of fuel to ship but we just can't get to it. It's been a frustrating, stressful situation." 

Day said the union's blockade of the refinery is making it difficult to supply fuel to communities across the prairies and it affects much more than just trucking companies.

"We have very serious concerns for the rural communities, the farmers, ambulances, fire trucks, school buses," she said.

Truckers who deliver fuel processed at the Co-op Refinery in Regina staged a protest today.

3 years ago
Duration 0:25
The lockout of Federated Cooperative Limited workers continues in Regina.

Dozens of vehicles seized at refinery

The Regina Police Service issued a statement Thursday morning stating the 31 vehicles were removed from outside the refinery, but other vehicles have since taken their place. The RPS said it also wanted to dispel rumours that officers opened any gates.

The statement also addressed a protest by drivers who haul fuel for Federated Cooperatives Limited. The RPS said it had not been given notice of the protest but expects drivers to follow all rules of the road.

"The goal is to ensure everyone's safety," read the statement.

Unifor Local 594 president Kevin Bittman addressed those who attended a solidarity rally outside the Co-op Refinery. (Ethan Williams/CBC)

Contempt of court hearing set for Thursday

Meanwhile, a Court of Queen's Bench judge is set to hold a contempt of court hearing Thursday about the picket line set up around the refinery. The hearing was initially scheduled for 10 a.m. CST Thursday but has been moved to 1:30 p.m.

In December, Justice Janet McMurtry ordered Unifor workers to only hold up fuel trucks at the refinery for a maximum of 10 minutes before they were let through.

On Jan. 22, Unifor workers were fined $100,000 plus legal costs for violating the injunction.

The fine was not related to a barricade that was set up blocking refinery entrances last month.

In a statement released on Monday, Federated Co-operatives Limited CEO Scott Banda said the union would be "held accountable" at the court hearing.

The union faced another court hearing in Alberta yesterday for its blockade of Federated Co-op's fuel terminal in Carseland, Alta.

Around 800 workers have been locked out of the refinery since Dec. 5.

On Monday, Premier Scott Moe said he expected the Regina Police Service to enforce the court order calling for the removal of barricades set up by the union at the refinery.



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