Volume 22 | Issue 6 | June 2022


PAC Update

CSS Corner

Last Laugh

Exec Elections 2022

Pride Month



New Members



Nathan Kraemer

Recording Secretary:

Ellen Foley


Kaleena Baulin

Negotiating Chairperson:

Shaun Jenkins

Maintenance V.P.:

Karl Dahle

Process V.P.:

Wade Schnell

Administration V.P.:

Tasha Lang


Kurt Haakensen

Chief Shop Steward:

Richard Exner

Information Officer:

Ashlyn Heintz


Brandon Mang

Sergeant at Arms:

Nic Skulski


Amy Wisniewski 

Daryl Watch 

Anton Skulski


The 594 Political Action Committee (PAC) is working to ensure workers and their rights are respected. 


    In 2008 the Sask Party brought forth the Public Service Essential Services Act; limiting the ability of public sector employees designated as “essential services” to authorize, declare or cause a work stoppage. They also brought forth the Trade Union Amendment Act; changing the union certification process to increase the necessary written support level and changing employer – employee communications (i.e. A company can now ask for the results of a ratification vote. This allows companies to gauge the membership on offers voted on, kind of a big deal). 

    The Public Service Essential Service Act was deemed unconstitutional in the Supreme Court in 2015. The following year the Sask Party introduced new Essential Services Legislation, again, which weakened essential service workers rights but not enough to be overturned. In 2020, thousands of emails were sent, phone calls made weekly and rallies were held right outside the Sask Party MLA’s place of work during our Lockout. Although meaningful conversations were felt to be had, no real action was taken by the Sask Party leadership, such as binding arbitration to end the Lockout. Just recently CP Rail were on strike and the first action taken by Premier Scott Moe was to petition the Federal Government to designate the rail workers as an Essential Service. Strictly from a worker/ labour standpoint, it’s clear that the Saskatchewan Party is not in favour of a middle class, good paying jobs, workers rights or unions in general.

    PAC members are part of local executives to place workers and their rights at the table. Recently NDP Walsh Acres executive held a cornhole fundraiser sponsored by 594. The event was a fun way to generate donations. 

“By changing nothing, nothing changes”  ~ Tony Robbins

In Solidarity,

Chuck Brittner



Karla Hanson


Debbie Bourassa &

Mitch Bloos

Building Maintenance:

Garth Wendel


Mike Pelzer


Sam Seibel


Corey Strass & Colin Waldie

Fire & Safety:

Daryl Watch

Information Technology:

Cory Frederickson


Shane Thompson


Dave Mushynsky &

Jaret McCloy & Chris Szala


Luke McGeough &

Brandon Mang


Andrea Jordan & Mike Fink


Derek Kups & Karter Diewold

MRP: Garth Wendel

PDD Loading: Jamie Wolf

PDD Warehouse: Vacant

PDD Office:

Christal Wisniewski


Jeremy Lukomski

& Dan Ross


Ryan Dzioba


Nelson Wagman

Section IA:

Dean Funke

Section IB:

Charles Brittner

Section II:

Jason Sharp

Section III:

Josh Hollinger

Section IV:

Pat Pilot

Section V:

Andrew Murray


Nathan Fafard


Scott Wicklund


It’s insane to think that the year is half over. Kids will be out of school right away, if not by the time you read this. Everyone is looking forward to summer vacations of different types and sizes, but all equally deserved. Our membership deserves a vacation. Not just from work, but also the bullshit. We put the ‘earned’ in EDO.

There is no workforce like ours. We are diverse, immensely skilled, highly-trained, efficient, competent and dedicated. That was extremely evident in the first half of 2022. Numerous unit upsets, emergencies & incidents, overcoming short staffing and increased workload due to insufficient shop compliment, fatigue, and a Turnaround that doesn’t seem to want to end.

It’s never been the mood of the membership to expect a pat on the back for doing our jobs. We don’t need pizza parties or cookie days, but they are a nice cherry on top. All we have ever wanted is for line management to show their respect for the workforce by leaving us alone essentially. Not trying to contract out our work, take away duties, reduce our wages, benefits and pensions, discipline every little mistake or micromanage our day. We just want to do our jobs and go home safe at the end of the shift. We just want to provide for our families. That’s it. Simple.

That aside, recognition for a job well done is still healthy and important in any workplace.

There are many groups to recognize for their above and beyond contributions to keeping the refinery operating efficiently and profitably the last several months. Essentially every work group has been overloaded with demands for their time and abilities.

Process sections are critically under-staffed. Forced to cover holidays and training purely with overtime is taxing on the workgroup, especially coming out of an extended Turnaround. Top that off with the numerous incidents and upsets (Section II, III & V specifically), the operators have done a tremendous job of keeping each other safe and the plant running as best as they can.

It’s not just the operations team that deserves kudos, its everyone! The Accounting department has worked lots of overtime to ensure the increased flood of invoices related to Turnaround were processed in a timely manner. Yield Accountants working diligently to ensure accurate inventory balancing related to start up activities so our mass balance is as accurate as possible. Our clerks also see an increased workload during turnaround with no extra help or hours to keep up. They entered 4X (!!) the normal amount of data points for the Corrosion Monitoring Program in one month.

Members from other areas like the Lab and Fire & Safety, have also stepped up! Switching from days to nights and back again to help facilitate all the shutdown, Turnaround and start up activities. The extra testing and their diligence is vital and much appreciated. It’s not easy keeping the refinery safe and the products on-spec, but both Fire & Safety and the Lab do a fantastic job!

To be continued...


Another under appreciated and often overlooked group is our IT folks. From the multitude of Turnaround trailers that need to be outfitted with hardware and network access to dealing with a daily barrage of Service Desk requests at all hours of the day. Our computer experts handle it all, and they handle it well! We’re extremely grateful to have them in our membership.

While Turnaround tends to mean less throughput for our PDD friends, it’s not a holiday. Dispatchers, Maintenance Techs, Tank Car Loaders and Warehouse staff are always doing high quality work ensuring the right products get to the right places, right on time. They are invaluable to our operation.

The bulk of Turnaround work rests on the shoulders of our trade shops, inspections and Stores members. They are working extended hours for months on end, rearranging their lives and sleep schedules to take on special night assignments, and swoop in at the end to fix the mistakes left behind by contractors. We’ve all been in the room and let out that sigh of relief when “our guys” show up for a job and not a gaggle of misfits whose only prerogative is to drag a job out so their Turnaround gig lasts longer. Our maintenance shops have a vested interest in the long term success of the refinery and you see that when they show up for every little job. Quality work, every time.

I witnessed this first hand in Section II during start up. Over two weekend dayshifts, using our start-up support tradespersons we were able to fix/calibrate nearly a dozen instruments, change out a fin fan motor that had bad bearings for seven months, replace braided hoses, change out a Worley gasket in the Poly that required bypassing a portion of the unit, and numerous other fixes. All of which would’ve taken months if filtered through JDE and planning. It goes to show that when the handcuffs are taken off, “our guys” are ready, willing and able to work and work hard.

Going above and beyond is normal for our membership, but it shouldn't become the rule. It is not sustainable from a burnout perspective. So, we just wanted to say thank you to all our brothers & sisters that have been working tirelessly. You truly do put the care in career. Please take the time to enjoy the summer with your families and loved ones.

In Solidarity,

Richard Exner & the 594 Executive



Thanks to all of those who have stepped up to the Executive. Below is the final list of Executive Officers. Big welcome to Ellen Foley who the membership voted in to the Recording Secretary position! 

President: Nathan Kraemer

Maintenance VP: Karl Dahle

Administration VP: Tasha Lang

Sergeant At Arms: Nicolas Skulski

Chief Shop Steward: Richard Exner

Information Officer: Ashlyn Heintz

PDD VP: Kurt Haakensen

Recording Secretary: Ellen Foley

Trustee: Anton Skulski


Gender is one of those things everyone thinks they understand, but most don't.  

A. Gender Identity - Who you think you are. ie: man, woman, gender-queer, two spirit.

B. Gender Expression - How you demonstrate who you are. ie: "butch", "femme", "androgynous", "gender-neutral".

C. Biological Sex - The equipment under the hood.

D. Attraction - Who you are romantically and sexually attracted to.

All of these elements make up a person. They are all independant of one another, meaning not connected. A isn't determined by C and D isn't determined by B, etc. And each element can contain some of both "woman-ness" and "man-ness", or neither.

There is so much more to learning about gender than what we have been taught our whole lives. The most important thing is to be an ally to the LGBTQ2S community. Don’t give up if you get it wrong sometimes. An ally is someone who has the courage to apologize and the stamina to keep learning and working to make things better. 

If you would like to read more about the Genderbread Person, click HERE.

Happy Pride Month! 

to the following 594 members:

Kerry Agar - Lead Hand Carpenter (June 1, 2022)

Lee Stocker- Instrumentation (June 1, 2022)

Les Bonkowski- Electrical (July 1, 2022)

Warren Huber- Laboratory (July 1, 2022)

Joe Dombowsky-Building Maintenance (August 1, 2022)

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.


For any new members, or if you know of new members not receiving Union Communications please talk to your Shop Steward or e-mail: info@unifor594.com