Volume 23 | Issue 7 | August 2023


Unifor Canada Council

2023 Membership Survey Results

594 Golf Tournament

CSS Corner

Labour Day Picnic

Last Laugh

Shop Steward News


New Members



Nathan Kraemer

Recording Secretary:

Ellen Foley


Kaleena Baulin

Negotiating Chairperson:

Ryan Shillingford

Maintenance V.P.:

Karl Dahle

Process V.P.:

Wade Schnell

Administration V.P.:

Kurt Haakensen (Interim)


Jamie Wolf

Chief Shop Steward:

Richard Exner

Information Officer:

Andrea Jordan (Interim)

Maintenance V.P. Assistant:

6 Month Trial: Garth Wendel


Brandon Mang

Sergeant at Arms:

Nic Skulski

Women's Advocate:

Lisa Taman


Amy Wisniewski 

Anton Skulski

Charles Brittner


I had the privilege of attending The Unifor Canadian Council Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia from August 18 to 20. I went along with our President, Nathan Kraemer, and our Administration Vice President, Kurt Haakenson.

This year, 2023, marks the 10th Anniversary of the formation of the Unifor National Union. On August 18th we came together to celebrate 10 years of solidarity since the Canadian Autoworkers' Union (CAW) and Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers (CEP) unions merged to form Unifor. We recognized achievements and participated in many discussions of current issues affecting our union as well as future goals.

Resolutions and recommendations were brought forward and local presidents and representatives had opportunities to ask questions and participate in healthy dialogue. Examples of recommendations brought forward were bargaining worker power, and organizing new members.

President Lana Payne gave several addresses and Regional Directors also gave updates. The conference had a vote for a new Ontario Regional Director, who is now Samia Hasi.

Ongoing strikes at Windsor Salt Ontario, Autobus Venise, Quebec, and 37 Metro Inc. Grocery Stores in Ontario were discussed and many donations were pledged by Unifor locals to support our brothers and sisters on picket lines. Members affected by forest fires in British Columbia and Yellowknife spoke of the devastation and loss suffered, and locals also stepped up to make donations to aid and support.

In the aftermath of the Jerry Dias breach of ethics, a Unifor National ethics task force was created and gave a comprehensive report on changes and suggestions that Unifor will be making to its Code of Ethics. Policies regarding receiving gifts, vendors, and third-party vendors used, as well as installing a position of Integrity Officer are some of the points that were discussed.

The conference closed with a great presentation on mental health. Everyone felt excited for the future and what we can achieve if we stay strong in solidarity.

All in all, it was my first time attending a National Conference, I feel fortunate I was able to represent 594. It's encouraging to see that though we, ourselves have many members, we are part of a much larger family, coast to coast, that stands together with a common goal of improving workers' rights, fair wages, and respect for all!

In Solidarity, Wade Schnell, Process Vice President



Karla Hanson


Debbie Bourassa &

Mitch Bloos

Building Maintenance:

Garth Wendel


Mike Pelzer


Sam Seibel


Corey Strass

Fire & Safety:

Daryl Watch

Information Technology:

Cory Frederickson


Shane Thompson


Dave Mushynsky &

Jaret McCloy & Chris Szala


Brandon Mang


Andrea Jordan & Mike Fink


Karter Diewold

MRP: Jeff Folk

PDD Loading: Kevin Reis

PDD Warehouse: Vacant

PDD Office:

Christal Wisniewski


Jeremy Lukomski

& Dan Ross


Ryan Dzioba


Nelson Wagman

Section IA:

David George

Section IB:

Charles Brittner

Section II:

Jason Sharp

Section III:

Josh Hollinger

Section IV:

Pat Pilot & Cam Parisien

Section V:

Andrew Murray


Nathan Fafard


Scott Wicklund


In April 2023, the Executive put out a survey for the membership on some important topics to help us make decisions in our members best interest. This survey included questions related to demographics, mental health, 594 information, conciliator, social committee activities, donations and sponsorships, swag and merchandise, and interest in getting more involved in the local.

The last membership survey the union put out was in 2021. It's been very interesting to see how the membership evolves over the years. Only 38% of the membership filled out the survey this year, a decrease from the 52% completion rate in 2021. We understand that surveys can be annoying to fill out, but the membership provides the mandate for the Executive. The more participation, the better the alignment.

A concern was raised regarding the anonymity of these surveys. Our surveys are strictly intended to give each person in our membership a voice. When we create an anonymous survey, we have no ability to link your answers to your email, your name, your work location, or even how you voted from question to question - unless, of course, you choose to include your name in the long answer portions. This helps us get a true feel for our members' concerns.

We appreciate those who filled out our survey and hope we can catch more of you next time! Over the last several months, the Executive and committees have been very busy making decisions and changes based on the results from the survey.

1. Union Dues - Our treasurer, Kaleena Baulin, wrote a great article in the June 2023 Conciliator summing up all information involved in our 594 union dues and hopefully answering many questions along the way. 

2. Swag for Purchase - 65% of respondents said they would like to see our 594 hats back available for purchase. On August 14th, 2023 a one-question survey regarding preference for hat types went out to the membership. Once we have the information we need to place the order, we will have hats back available for purchase!

3. Staying up to date - Emails, the Conciliator, Group Chats, Shop Stewards and the Executive were the five main ways members stay up to date with Unifor 594 information. We will continue to have monthly Conciliators, and special/regular update emails available to all members. If you have unsubscribed or are a new hire and have not yet been receiving emails please reach out to: [email protected]

  • Almost all areas in the plant have a group chat, which is a great way to keep up to date with the ever-moving information. Check-in with your shop steward regarding group chats!
  • It is excellent to hear how many members utilize their shop stewards for information. It is greatly appreciated by the executive that our shop stewards have created this type of connection with their team members. We have decided to also involve them in a Shop Steward Strategic Planning Session on September 7, 2023. The goal of the day is to allow the chance to talk about issues concerning their members in person, give tools and resources to allow for confidence in the job, set expectations, better the line of communication, give bargaining updates and get to know other stewards and Executive members. 

4. Other Social Events you would like to see:  

  • 55% of respondents would like to see a Golf Tournament. We are happy to announce that the social committee is currently working on our first Golf Tournament at Deer Valley for September 22, 2023. As you can imagine, setting up a golf tournament is no easy task. You can find more information in this newsletter.
  • 48% of respondents would like to see a comedy/casino night and the Shutdown Shaker. The social committee has had another successful year at the shutdown shaker, held on June 8, 2023, at the hall. At this time we have no plans for a comedy/casino night, but it's definitely on the radar!
  • 38% of respondents would like to see a family-friendly event. This has been an ongoing event that we would love to host, but has yet to come to fruition. The communications committee had a goal this year to sponsor a free Friday movie night at Moonlight Movies in Pilot Butte, which was a huge success. Our goal for next year is to have a movie later in the season so the start time can be more family-friendly!

5. Swag provided by 594 - 60% of respondents were interested in receiving hats and T-shirts from the union and 50% were interested in receiving sweaters. We have handed out many hats and T-shirts in our 594 past. However, the last 594 sweater was given out back when we were Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP). We think it is time for new sweaters!

  • We are currently working with our supplier and hoping to get approval from Fire & Safety to allow our FR Zip-up Hoodies on-site. When we have completed those necessary steps, sizing and ordering will be next. Keep an eye out for that!

6. Sponsorship and Donations - Four main not-for-profit organizations were chosen by 60% of respondents: sending kids to camp, Women's Shelters, Hospitals of Regina and Youth Sport. As you may have seen in the past couple of months, we have made donations as part of the Grievance Backlog Project of $2500 each to Kidsport Saskatchewan, YWCA (Women's Shelter), Souls Harbour (Men's Shelter) and the Humane Society. As part of our policies, we were also able to send four children to EYES (Educating Youth in Engineering and Science) Camp and four children to YWCA Power of Being a Girl Camp.

7.Volunteers - We had 14 members step up and get more involved in committees, as shop stewards and on the Executive. Thank you for volunteering your time!

Are you actively looking for work outside the Co-op Refinery right now?



There was a significant decrease in the amount of members looking for work outside of the Co-op from 2021 to 2023. This result is a positive for our workplace and one can only assume it's due to the Company abandoning their planned permanent layoff plans in the wake of the historic Labour Relations decision on October 17, 2022, helping to carve the road to a better working relationship.

Other notable results from the survey include:

  • 83.64% are satisfied with the level of information they receive from 594, up from 70.68% in 2021. 5.91% are dissatisfied, down from 12.31% in 2021. The rest are neutral.
  • We will continue to send information (bargaining updates, general updates, etc.) out as we have it. It is important for the membership to be up-to-date on all information!
  • 71.37% are satisfied with the level of representation/support they receive from 594, slightly down from 72.63% in 2021. 7.27% are dissatisfied, down from 15.00% in 2021. The rest are neutral or have not needed support from the Union.
  • Please reach out to your shop steward or executive for support when and where you need it. We do try our very best to help members with concerns they have.
  • There were several comments about the Defined Benefit P23 indexing issue that played out over the last three years. The union has stated our position based on advice from our legal team, particularly in an email from January 29th, 2023. It's important for the membership to understand that the decisions were not made lightly, or without all the necessary information from experts.

Thank you to all members who participated in our 2023 Membership Survey. We want all of your voices to be heard and strongly encourage you to share them in any future surveys!


Ashlyn Heintz, Information Officer


Unifor 594 Social Committee is pleased to announce its First Golf Tournament on September 22, 2023, at Deer Valley Golf Course.

Shotgun start begins at noon, followed by dinner in the clubhouse. Bus transportation is optional, but will be available to and from golf.

Registration is Now Open! 

The cost for the tournament is $100 for members only. To confirm registration, send fees by e-transfer to [email protected].

In an e-transfer comment or separate email include the name(s) of golfers your fees are covering, and team member names (if applicable).

Don't have a team, but would like to participate? Once registered, we will ensure you have a team to enjoy the day with!

After registration, keep checking your inbox for further updates and information.

Spots are limited on a first come first serve basis by completing registration. 

Registration closes September 1st. For more information or have questions please reach out to [email protected] or talk to your Unifor 594 Social Club members.


The Grievance Backlog Project has produced several significant settlements that are both positive and productive to the progress of rebuilding the labor relations trust that is necessary for an effective work environment. 


The most recent example is the with precedent resolution that was signed on August 1st relating to grievance #21-2021. This agreement between the Company and Union will solidify a long-standing practice at CRC going forward.


The grievance was submitted after a Process member, who was on days off due to prescheduled vacation, was called into work on short notice to fill minimum staffing requirements on what would've been their regular day of work. The employee was paid straight time and their vacation hours were credited back. The Union argued this has not been the practice, nor is it consistent with Article 17 or LOU 40.


We are pleased that we were able to come to an agreement with the Company on the following rules for any future similar scenarios. Employees will have the option of selecting one of the following:

  1. Working at straight time and having their vacation hours credited back
  2. Keeping their scheduled vacation and receiving overtime pay for the called-in shift.

*If the call-in is short notice, it will entitle the employee to a meal allowance per the CBA.


Also, as part of this resolution, the employee at the heart of the grievance was made whole in all respects. It is a great example of collaborative problem-solving that ends with a mutually beneficial outcome.


In Solidarity, Richard Exner, Chief Shop Steward


Regina & District Labour Council is pleased to host a Labour Day Picnic.

Joined by Unions of Regina.

When: Monday Sep 4, 2023

Time: 12: 00 (Noon) - 3:00 pm

Where "Pat Fiacco Plaza" in downtown Regina

Unifor 594 will be joining other local Unifor unions to host a tent at the Labour Day Picnic. Bring your family down for some food, entertainment and fun -- it's free!



We will be hosting a 594 Shop Steward Training on November 22, 2023.

Please email [email protected] if you are interested in taking the course and have not done so in the past. This training is open to all members, not just current Shop Stewards.

We welcome Jeff Folk who has stepped into the shop steward position for MRP.

Currently, we are looking to add Shop Stewards in the following areas: PDD warehouse, PDD office, and Section 1A.

Please reach out if you are interested in becoming a steward or have any questions.

Employee & Family Assistance Program
The Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is through Homewood Health and is available 24/7/365. Call 1-800-663-1142 or reach out to a trusted confident, friend or co-worker if you aren't feeling like yourself.

594 SWAG

Are you interested in sporting Unifor 594 Swag?

Check out our list of swag at:



For any new members, or if you know of new members not receiving Union Communications please talk to your Shop Steward or e-mail: [email protected]