January 8, 2020

Name: Andrew

Years of Service: 18.5 years 

Department/Section: Laboratory 

Job Title: Lab Technician 1

What makes you proudest of your job? 

Working together with such a large group of people achieving a common goal.  I take pride in doing my job safely and giving it my best every day.

What makes you the proudest of your Union? 

Our local does a lot of things outside of work, in the community.  We just had a blood drive and are working with a Buddhist temple to replace the boiler.  We are not just fighting for ourselves but for our community and for all workers.  Our local puts a lot back into our local economy as well. 

What does the fight for respect mean to you? 

The fight for equality. FCL wants to tell the public our earnings etc., maybe they should make public the salaries of their managers, VPs and CEOs?  Respect the workforce that makes the company profitable.   Reminds me of a quote, ”Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

Who are you picketing for? 

The whole workforce, for respect; think about Tim Horton’s strike right now.  Striking for 10 cents an hour when working at minimum wage.  Picketing also for my family and our future.  I want to keep my retirement goals reachable without sacrificing all my family time.  I’m picketing for my co-workers.

What impact has the lockout had on you? 

I’m not too saddened, more puzzled and angered.  Puzzled and angered at FCL for attacking their employees’ pensions when making record profits.  I want to continue providing for my family.  The upside is reconnecting with co-workers from other departments and meeting new coworkers.

What is it like walking a picket line? 

It’s different.  Walking in circles for the majority of a shift.  It’s fun reconnecting and talking with workers; you get to learn about the complexities of the different units in the refinery.  Things I would not have the opportunity to learn before this.

What are you doing for self-care during this time? 

Enjoying and spending time with my family.  Relaxing in my downtime.  No projects on the go because I’m saving money to remain financially stable.

What is something you want the public to know about this lockout? 

How can a company that wants to be sustainable take away its greatest asset?  The refinery is nowhere near running at its normal production during this lockout.  The reason behind this lockout is the companies’ greed, not sustainability. Our union is trying to protect our futures and families.

Why do you feel like Refinery workers are being disrespected? 

I think other competitive places are able to afford this kind of pension plan.  I have a family member that works in an industry where there is a fully funded pension plan.  We are making record profits, so why is this now a problem?  How can a billion-dollar company not afford pensions when other companies do?  People want the company they work for to be profitable, but beware too much profit and greed kicks in.

Any other comments? 

I understand that FCL is trying to grow its brand, but moves like this hurt our brand, and the people that are part of a co-operative.

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