Special mediator Vince Ready begins work Tuesday in the Unifor Local 594 and Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC) dispute.
Ready was appointed last week by the Saskatchewan government.
He has worked in labour relations since 1965 and arbitrated and/or mediated in more than 7,000 labour and commercial disputes in Canada.
The province asked Unifor to take down any of their blockades prior to Tuesday and “bargain in good faith.”
However, there are blockades set up around the Co-op Cardlock and bulk terminal in Saskatoon.
In a statement emailed to Global News, Co-op said they have agreed to a preliminary meeting with Ready, but will not bargain with blockades up.
“When Premier Moe offered the assistance of a special mediator for bargaining, he was clear that it would only happen if illegal blockades were removed. We’ve said all along that we can’t bargain while Unifor’s illegal blockades are in place,” Co-op said.
“We’re serious about bargaining with the assistance of the special mediator appointed by Premier Moe. We’d hope that Unifor will take it seriously as well and respect Premier Moe’s condition for working with the special mediator.”
Unifor said “the fences will remain up until we determine the right time to take them down.”
Labour action began on Dec. 5, 2019, after Unifor issued a strike notice, followed by Co-op locking out its workers.
A division of Unifor represents some Global news employees across the country.
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