Ottawa, Ontario – Members of Canada’s largest energy workers’ union will be picketing select Petro-Canada gas stations across the country today in support of locked-out workers at the company’s Montreal refinery.

The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) has declared April 29 a National Day of Action in support of 260 Petro-Canada workers who were locked out last November. The union will also be present at today’s annual Petro-Canada stockholders meeting in Calgary.

The union said that although the company is making “record profits”, it has refused to negotiate with workers in Montreal, who are asking for the same settlement negotiated with other plants across the country. The union also said that the refinery is being run by a skeleton staff of inadequately-trained managers working extremely long hours without breaks, and that an explosion at the BP refinery in Texas in 2005, which killed 15 people, was linked to fatigue and poor training.

“They are trying to break our system of pattern bargaining in the energy sector,” said CEP president Dave Coles. “In doing so, the company is placing the safety of the surrounding community at risk. We are calling on Petro-Canada to let these men and women return to their jobs before disaster strikes.”

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