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Regina refinery on lock-out

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The "Co-operative Refinery Complex,"  known generally as the "Co-op," is currently in a labor conflict, with management locking out some 800 refinery workers.  The refinery itself is a 130,000 bbl/day operation, processing Canadian oilsand crude and also conventional pumped crude through an "upgrader" that converts the oilsands stuff into regular crude oil, then in turn refines the oil into diesel, heating oil, and (I am guessing) also gasoline.  The original purpose of the co-op refinery was to develop cheap diesel for the co-op farmers.  Western Canada has all these little co-op operations that in turn have "federated" into a co-op of co-ops, the central operation then using its massive buying power to get cheap supplies for the members.  they got into oil way back when, perhaps around 1934.  

The dispute itself is typically Canadian, with the big union arguing with the co-op directors over some defined-benefit pension plan.  Meanwhile, the fuel that refinery cranks out, apparently including propane which is badly needed for crop drying, is going nowhere, with some 48 big-rigs sitting outside the gates trying to get in, and the oil tankers inside not being able to get out, and the drivers caught as so much collateral damage in between.  This has been on-going since Dec 6 and no end in sight. 

Canada had a particularly wet crop-harvest year and the crops need to be immediately dried or they will spoil.  And fuel is needed to save the crops.  So the strikers are holding the entire harvest hostage while they press for further demands on top of an 11.5% wage increase.  That led management to lock out the workers in order to prevent sabotage to the refinery itself, arson being a big concern. As if the oilsands did not have enough problems!

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Note the long line of oil trucks trying to get into the refinery.  the union pickets let them in one every 2 hours, so the guys at the back have to sit in the trucks for three days just to get inside to pick up loads, then go through the same exercise to get back out.  Meanwhile the independent trucking companies contracted to haul the fuel are headed for the bankruptcy courts with the massive wage bills. 

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On 12/16/2019 at 10:42 AM, Jan van Eck said:

Note the long line of oil trucks trying to get into the refinery.  the union pickets let them in one every 2 hours, so the guys at the back have to sit in the trucks for three days just to get inside to pick up loads, then go through the same exercise to get back out.  Meanwhile the independent trucking companies contracted to haul the fuel are headed for the bankruptcy courts with the massive wage bills. 

If this were in the US they would be getting arrested, it is illegal for someone to interfere with interstate trade in this fashion. The carriers should just send the trucks home until the plant can verify that the trucks can come in to pick up. Or just find other loads somewhere else.... When BLM was blocking highways I flat out told my dispatcher that I would run over any dumb ass blocking the highways...

  • Haha 1

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