Volume 23 | Issue 10 | November 2023


In Loving Memory

CSS Corner

Refinery Team Building

SPS Medal

Christmas Party

New Hats

Your Rights to the SEA

Last Laugh


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


It is with deep sorrow that we mourn the passing of a beloved husband and father, Alwan Al-Robiai (Section 1B Master Operator) who passed away on November 7th, 2023, at the age of 55.

Alwan is survived by his wife Jo and children Sarah, Norah, Elias and Samuel. A beautiful service was held on November 15th where family and friends remembered Alwan as a kind and generous person.

Alwan will forever be missed by his 594 family.


In previous issues, we have discussed Judicial Review; when it applies, what that process entails and some keys to being successful at a hearing. To quickly recap, Judicial Review is the labour law equivalent of an appeal with the important difference that the process is not to come to a different outcome on a different set of facts. The hearing takes place at the Court of King's Bench where a judge decides if an Arbitrator made an error in law when coming to their initial decision.


Our local has initiated the Judicial Review process previously in relation to the LOU 61 & Savings Plan grievances, but we bring it to your attention now because the Company has filed an application with the court regarding Arbitrator Ish's decision for the Vaccination Policy termination grievances.


The September 7th, 2023, decision saw two of our members reinstated when Arbitrator Ish ruled they were wrongfully terminated and it would have been more appropriate for them to remain on an unpaid leave of absence while the Vaccination Policy was in effect.


The Company's application alleges that Ish's decision is unreasonable and based on an irrational chain of analysis, fails to consider relevant factors, a misapprehension of facts, and does not apply binding legal precedent. All Judicial Review applications include a request for remedy. The Company is requesting that the Arbitrator's decision be quashed and the grievances dismissed, essentially re-terminating the two grievors. Alternatively, the Company requests that at the very least this matter be remitted back to Ish for reconsideration.


The next step in the process is for the Union to file a reply and/or affidavit(s) supporting the Arbitrator's decision and provide reasons for why we think Ish got it correct the first time. Then a hearing date sometime in early 2024 will need to be scheduled.


Continue to watch this space for updates!

In Solidarity,

Richard Exner, Chief Shop Steward



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

& David George

MRP: Jeff Folk

PDD Loading: Kevin Reis

PDD Warehouse: Vacant

PDD Office:

Christal Wisniewski


Jeremy Lukomski

& Dan Ross


Ryan Dzioba


Nelson Wagman

Section IA:

George Brailean (Interim)

Section IB:

Charles Brittner

Section II:

Jason Sharp

Section III:

Jaret Delamare

Section IV:

Pat Pilot & Cam Parisien

Section V:

Andrew Murray


Nathan Fafard


Scott Wicklund


On October 30th, the eleven 594 executive officers had the opportunity to join eleven members of the Refinery Leadership Team for a team-building day at the RBO. We had the chance to have some good conversations where both teams were able to share thoughts, opinions, and goals with each other in an “anything goes” format where there was no requirement to be reserved or to worry about whether we might be ruffling feathers. It was a great opportunity for us all to take a step towards putting some negative feelings behind us, and look forward with understanding and collaboration.

As a large group, we identified and discussed key points in our refinery’s and our local’s histories, highlighting high points, such as successful expansions of the plant, our 80th anniversary as a local, and future plans such as the biodiesel upgrader and carbon capture projects. We also identified some of the low points, such as the MDU and poly explosions, and, of course, the lockout. This allowed us to visualize the timeline from well before any of us were around as well as look towards the future, and discuss these events, it really helped to put into perspective that the positives of the refinery really have outnumbered and outweighed the negatives.

We broke into smaller groups for part of the day where we did SWOT exercises where we looked at internal Strengths and Weaknesses, as well as external Opportunities and Threats that our refinery faces. Again, this provided great conversation and highlighted that we have more going for us than against us as we move forward into a low-carbon, green economy.

A main highlight throughout the day was focused on our three shared values as a team: Safety, Teamwork, and Community. There were lots of great thoughts and ideas on how we can utilize and adhere to these values in order to collaboratively push our refinery forward into the next chapter of our story.

At the end of the meeting, we did a quick questionnaire about the day, and the results showed that everyone found the day to be a success and very worthwhile. The intention going forward is to meet in this aspect every six months. The future meetings will be a 50/50 share of hosting and presenting duties between the union executive and the RLT. There was great engagement and participation from everyone in the room, and we all left feeling heard and understood. It was refreshing to have a non-combative meeting where we could all be completely honest with our guards down.

I would like to thank the RLT for arranging this meeting and providing our teams the opportunity for this first-of-its-kind event and look forward to future meetings where we can hopefully continue to make progress in employer/union relations, and stay on the same page, working together, to keep our refinery safe and profitable well into the future.

In Solidarity,

Nathan Kraemer, President


Unifor 594 is proud of our members who recently received the Saskatchewan Protective Services Medal at Government House on October 18, 2023.


Established in 2003, the Saskatchewan Protective Services Medal recognizes exemplary long service for individuals working in a direct capacity to protect people, property and supervisory personnel in the public service sectors who ensure the safety, security and protection of Saskatchewan citizens. These individuals set high standards and strive for excellence in their duties so everyone in Saskatchewan can live safe and secure lives. The Saskatchewan Protective Services Medal honours protective services providers and focuses attention on the efforts and work of police, fire and emergency professionals, and others working in the field of safety and security


This award is meant for individuals who have 25 years of total service, whether in their communities or their employment in a protective services role.

Our recipients this year from the CRC Emergency Response teams were:

Left to Right; Daryl Watch, Dwayne Hooper, Lorn Gregor, Danny Petrie, Steve Vargo

Not Pictured: Wayne Aldred, Paul Flaman, Ron Oschanney (retired)

If you see these individuals around the plant please congratulate them on their service to protecting our refinery and their communities.

In Solidarity,

Ryan Shillingford, Negotiating Chair


New custom toques are now in! 594 is knit on the front and back.

New red/ grey toques will be available through your shop steward or executive member for $15 each.

594 HATS

Hats are available in Trucker (mesh back) and Baseball styles.

Hats will be available through your shop steward or executive member for $15 each.


In our province, the Saskatchewan Employment Act guarantees workers the legal right to a safe and healthy workplace. While every individual person on-site is responsible for maintaining high standards of health and safety, the Act (supported by Part III, Occupational Health and Safety) also recognizes that only those who are appropriately empowered and informed can sufficiently carry out these responsibilities. Because of this, the Act entitles workers to three important rights:

  • The Right to Know
  • The Right to Participate
  • The Right to Refuse

The Right to Know

Workers have the right to know about every hazard that they will encounter on their job site. This involves training not only concerning job duties and procedures but also on how to identify hazards and adequately protect themselves. This may include issues such as the chemicals they could encounter in the field — or which ergonomic impacts they might have to deal with on an average day — and how to mitigate and lessen the impact these dangers could have on their well-being. The Right to Know also includes education on the rights granted to them under Saskatchewan’s OHS legislation.

The Right to Participate

Workers have the right to be included in decision-making processes that will have a direct influence on their health. This not only encompasses membership in a joint employer-worker Occupational Health Committee but also the opportunity to be consulted on safe work procedures and practices. Concerns and complaints are to be free of reprisal; in this way, a worker should feel secure knowing that their voices will be heard. If workers can prove that this is not the case, there will be legal repercussions available as set out in the Act.

The Right to Refuse

To see how central the Right to Refuse is to the Saskatchewan Employment Act, let’s examine Section 3-31 of the Act itself: “A worker may refuse to perform any particular act or series of acts at a place of employment if the worker has reasonable grounds to believe that the act or series of acts is unusually dangerous to the worker’s health or safety, or the health or safety of any other person at the place of employment until:

(a) sufficient steps have been taken to satisfy the worker otherwise, or

(b) the Occupational Health Committee has investigated the matter and advised the worker otherwise. Workers must have the ability to raise their concerns. However, it is just as important to participate in the following process once you have reasonable grounds to believe that a job is unusually dangerous:

Step 1: Involve the supervisor

- Supervisor and worker attempt to resolve the concern. A supervisor may reassign a worker during the investigation; the worker does not leave the worksite without permission of the employer.

- During the investigation, the employer shall not request or assign another worker to perform that act or series of acts unless that other worker has been advised by the employer, in writing, of:

(a) the refusal and the reasons for the refusal;

(b) the reason or reasons the worker being assigned or requested to perform the act or series of acts may, in the employer’s opinion, carry out the act or series of acts in a healthy and safe manner; and

(c) the right of the worker to refuse to perform the act or series of acts pursuant to section 3-31.

Step 2: If the worker is not satisfied, involve Occupational Health Committee co-chairs

-OHC co-chairs interview the worker and supervisor in order to assist in refusal resolution.

-Co-chairs refer to standards of organization, legislation, etcetera, in order to resolve refusal.

Step 3: If the worker is not satisfied, the Occupational Health Committee investigates

-An emergency OHC meeting is convened by the co-chairs in order to investigate the refusal.

- If required, a quorum vote comprised of both worker and employer representatives decides if the disputed work is unusually dangerous. Unanimity is required to vote on a refusal.

- OHC sends recommendations for corrective action to the employer. The employer acts and notifies the OHC of the results.

Step 4: If the worker is not satisfied, the Ministry is involved through their representative

- The government’s Occupational Health Officer investigates and provides a written ruling to the parties involved. This decision could then be appealed further to the director of occupational health and safety. While these are three of the most powerful rights you have, they are not the only ways that you can protect yourself. You are your own best advocate. Please take the time to download and read the Act and Regulations for yourself. They can be found in PDF format from the following links:

Saskatchewan Employment Act
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

In Solidarity,

Matthew Wason, Law Committee

  • Congratulations Keenan Lugt (Section 5) and Jordan who welcomed their son Reese Gordon Dane born October 23, 2023

  • Congratulations to Bryce Lugt who achieved his 4th class Power Engineering Certificate.

Last Laugh

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: [email protected]