PBI-Colombia accompanied NOMADESC expresses solidarity with Unifor struggle in Saskatchewan

Published by Brent Patterson on

On January 20, Unifor posted, “After hundreds of Unifor members from across Canada came out to peacefully support locked out Co-op Refinery workers, the Regina Police chose to escalate the situation with heavy handed and extreme tactics, including the arrest of Unifor National President Jerry Dias and Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle.”

Rank and File explains, “About 730 refinery workers, members of Local 594, have been locked out for the past 49 days for trying to save their current Defined Benefit pension plan. Earlier that day, Dias announced Unifor would blockade the refinery gates, challenging a court injunction which ruled workers could only delay vehicles entering and leaving the refinery by 10 minutes. The union argues this injunction interferes with workers’ constitutional right to picket.”

On January 22, Dias tweeted, “Our fundamental rights as unionized workers are under direct attack in Regina. This fight is everyone’s fight.”

Now, our ally CoDevelopment Canada highlights in this Facebook post this NOMADESC statement: “The Association for Research and Social Action – NOMADESC and Intercultural University of Peoples- IUP manifests its consternation for the illegal arrest of 14 picketers including the President of the private sector union UNIFOR, Jerry Dias.”

Yesterday, Dias stated, “It is now imperative that [Saskatchewan] Premier Scott Moe step in and order the two sides back to the table with a provincial mediator. This dispute could be over today. We have a room booked and are ready to go to the bargaining table.”

For updates from Unifor, please follow their Twitter account.

To learn more about the work of CoDevelopment Canada, please see their website.

The Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project has accompanied Nomadesc since 2011 and its president Berenice Celeita since 1999. You can read more about that accompaniment and the work of Nomadesc on the PBI-Colombia website here. A PBI-Colombia video with Berenice talking about PBI accompaniment can be seen here.


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