Unifor takes picketline to supervisor’s Petrolia home


About a dozen striking members of Unifor took their walkout to Petrolia.

They set up a picket line at the home of their supervisor across from the Henry Canada plant for a brief time May 6.

About 35 employees of SGS Management have been off the job at Imperial Oil for 56 days. The Local 626 members load chemicals, propane and gasoline onto ships, rail cars and trucks at Imperial.

Chief Steward Dean Hart says they have been without a contract since Oct. 24 and have been on strike for 57 days.

Unifor and SGS Management bargained for 13 days before the company presented an offer to the workers – just hours before the strike deadline. It called for no wage increase in the first year and one per cent in the second. The most contentious issue, according to Hart, was a provision to bring in part-time workers to bring down the cost of overtime. Hart says that’s a safety concern.

“If he comes in and covers my job one day, it might be five or six months before he does it again,” he says. The employees, Hart says, should have lots of experience handling the dangerous chemicals, not walk in occasionally.

Right now, SGS has brought in management from other locations to meet the contract at Imperial. Hart says the union has made a number of attempts, including through their lawyer, to reach the company to ask for another bargaining session without any response. “They will not answer our calls or returns our emails,” says Hart. So they went directly to his house.

Unifor arrived after the supervisor had left for the day. Hart and the other employees handed out pamphlets asking Henry employees – who are also Unifor members – to call the company and demand more bargaining sessions.