‘Greedy Co-op’: Unifor launches nationwide boycott of Co-op retailers

Unifor is calling for a nationwide boycott of all Co-op businesses and services as nearly 800 Co-op refinery workers remain locked out.

“If Co-op wants to hit refinery workers with a lockout, it’s time to hit Co-op where it hurts,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

Federated Co-operative Limited is owned by more than 200 Co-op retailers across the country.

READ MORE: Co-op Refinery using helicopters to transport staff, supplies into Regina plant

“Local Co-ops must speak out to the FCL board and use their power to end this lockout and get refinery workers a fair contract and the pension they were promised by FCL just two years ago.”

On Sunday, the union launched a boycott campaign at the Saskatchewan Hotel in downtown Regina. Their campaign will involve television and radio ads, billboards and secondary pickets at retail locations across Canada.

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Scott Doherty, lead negotiator for Unifor, said Co-op leadership is abandoning the principles that attracted Canadians to become members. He asked Canadians and unions nationwide to “boycott greedy Co-op groceries, greedy Co-op gas and greedy Co-op hardware.”

READ MORE: Tensions escalate at Regina Co-op Refinery as van tries to cross picket line

Unifor Local 594 President Kevin Bittman called Co-op the “Grinch” of Christmas.

“Why waste millions to fly in scabs and supplies by helicopter when we would rather be back at work,” Bittman said.

The union hopes the boycott will pressure FCL to bargain a fair deal.

Unifor Local 594 members have been locked out by the Co-op refinery since Dec. 5.

Global News has reached out to the Co-op for comment.

More to come…

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