Regina Police Charge Unifor 14 in Ongoing Picket Line Fight

Unifor

REGINA – NEWS – On Monday, January 20, 2020, the Regina Police Service arrested fourteen individuals as the result of enforcement action at one picket line outside the Co-op Refinery Complex.

Only one of the 14 Unifor members charged is from Regina. The rest are from outside of Saskatchewan.

On Monday, January 20, 2020, police learned that Unifor members had completely blocked the entrances/exits to the Co-op Refinery Complex, not allowing vehicles to enter or exit the property, in spite of a recent court order which sets out the rules of engagement for both sides in the dispute. Regina Police Service members attended to Gate 7 at the Refinery, the afternoon of January 20th. Picketing members of Unifor were notified, once again, that blocking ingress or egress was in violation of the court order. Unifor members who are not members of Local 594, were informed that they may be subject to arrest on criminal matters if they chose to ignore the court order or interfere with the lawful operation of the business. Starting at approximately 5:15 p.m., members of the Regina Police Service arrested seven adult males, whose arrest was the subject of a previous news release.

Unifor in a media statement says, “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.”

“The Regina Police acted by arresting our members on a picket line that exists only because of Co-op’s shameful decision to lockout workers,” said Lana Payne, Unifor Secretary-Treasurer. “Tonight’s escalation was completely unnecessary and on a level I have rarely witnessed in recent years. We are calling on the Regina Police to immediately de-escalate and stop their heavy-handed tactics aimed at inflaming tensions on a peaceful and legal picket line.”

“We will continue to hold the line and do whatever it takes to defend the rights of Co-op Refinery members and all workers,” said Scott Doherty, Assistant to Unifor’s National President and lead negotiator. “But in order to ensure that this dispute is resolved peacefully at the bargaining table the Regina police must halt the unprovoked arrest of our members.”

Unifor Leaders and Activists Charged

An additional seven adult males were arrested later in the evening. All fourteen were subsequently charged with mischief:

Sixty-one-year-old Jerome DIAS, of Milton, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Sixty-year-old Murray GORE, of Surrey, British Columbia, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Sixty-year-old Barry LINES, of Toronto, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Fifty-five-year-old Karl DEFOREST, of Kitchener, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Fifty-three-year-old William REID, of Scarborough, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Fifty-three-year-old Michael BYRNE, of Belle River, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Fifty-one-year-old Kenneth ANDERSON, of Tecumseh, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Forty-seven-year-old Joshua COLES, of Clinton, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Forty-seven-year-old Michael SMITH, of Delta, British Columbia, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Forty-six-year-old Gavin MCGARRICLE, of Surrey, British Columbia, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Forty-four-year-old Mario SANTOS, of Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Thirty-nine-year-old Trevor Robert LESPERANCE, of Regina, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Thirty-three-year-old Bjorn Edwin PERSON, of Regina, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Thirty-one-year-old Charles GRIEVE, of Windsor, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

The fourteen charged are scheduled to make their first appearance on these charges in Provincial Court on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, at 9:30 a.m.