Co-op Refinery workers ratify contract, avoid strike or lockout

Co-op refinery to test emergency alarm system Wednesday afternoon

Things are returning to normal at Regina's Co-op Refinery.

On Monday night, workers voted to ratify a contract with management, putting an end to more than a year of negotiations.

Talks broke down last month, and a strike or lockout looked likely. However, both sides were able to come together on Friday.

"We have always regarded the union as our partners in this organization," said vice president of refinery operations Gil Le Dressay in a news release. "This agreement demonstrates our commitment to our employees, while enhancing the competitiveness of the refinery and the entire co-operative retailing system."

The union had said it wasn't "the deal we wanted" but still recommended that workers support the deal. 

Both sides were separated over changes to the workers' pension plan. Any new workers will be added to a defined contribution pension plan. The new deal includes wage increases for workers.

About 800 workers work at the refinery.