Unifor member Steve Boon joined Unifor members on the picket line at the Red River Co-op in Kenora today, as they offered support to striking members in Saskatchewan.

"Talks broke down on Friday, after a fairly reasonable offer by the union without even a reasonable response," he said. "Obviously, we have to amp up and send a message to Co-op that this thing is going to continue to get magnified and spread out across the country, until they do the right thing and go to the table."

Boon says a refinery making $3 million a day in profit shouldn't be going after employee pensions. While the Kenora outlet is independently owned, Boon said the retailer uses gas from the refinery in Saskatchewan.

A representative of the Co-op wasn't available for comment earlier today, but the company has said their profits are returned to co-op members in their communities. Most of the money, $670 million, was divided among 170 outlets as dividends. The funds are also used for more than 200 community programs.  

The union notes the company wants to make a transition from a defined benefit pension to a defined contribution plan. The company has also taken the union to court, saying picketers have been intimidating drivers. 

For more information:

Unifor - FCL

Federated Co-operatives Limited