Protest Held in Downtown Regina Thursday Morning

It was an unusual start to the day for motorists and workers in downtown Regina on Thursday morning.

Traffic was delayed for a couple hours in the downtown area during a protest held by independent lease operators who transport fuel from the Co-op refinery.

Truck drivers sounded their horns as they crossed by city hall and other businesses. Other vehicles could be seen driving by honking their horns in support of the operators who are affected by the labour dispute between Unifor and Federated Co-op Limited.

Organizers of the protest believe around 90 truckers participated in the protest, but Heather Day said that’s only about half of the independent operators who haul fuel in and out of the complex.

Day is the president of C.S. Day Transport and serves as a spokesperson for the 26 trucking companies that feel they are caught in the middle of this lockout.

She said these companies respect the role that unions play, but they feel the tactics being used by Unifor are crossing the line.

“It’s been a very frustrating, stressful situation for the business owners and for our drivers,” she stated.

“They are basically holding the prairie provinces and all of western Canada hostage by choking off the fuel supply.”

Day told reporters on Thursday morning in front of city hall that some of the trucks have been parked and unable to get fuel for a couple weeks now. Others aren’t able to pick up fuel with blockades set up at facilities in Winnipeg and Carseland, Alberta.

Day said this is about raising awareness to the general public since these truckers feel they are caught in the middle of this situation.

“So they understand the role of trucking in delivering groceries and general freight. Basically if you’ve got it, a truck brought it,” she added. “All of those trucks need fuel to move goods. We’re landlocked.”

Across the 26 fuel transportation companies that transport fuel for Federated Co-op, Day estimated they are down approximately $2.5 million in gross revenue since the blockades were put up.

She added they have lost $10 million since the lockout began.


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