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Staff and construction workers watch from outside a fence after an exploision at the Consumer Co-operatives Refinery Limited Upgrader in Regina on Thursday, October 6, 2011. Hundreds of unionized workers at the Federated Co-operatives refinery in Regina have voted more than 97 per cent in favour of a strike to back contract demands. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Roy Antal

ROY ANTAL/The Canadian Press

A labour dispute has led to a disruption at the Federated Co-operatives Limited refinery in Regina.

Members of Unifor Local 594 voted earlier this week in favour of a strike mandate and the union later sent the company a strike notice.

Co-op cited safety reasons and issued a lockout notice that took effect on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

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Workers were on the picket line a short time later.

The union, representing more than 700 workers at the refinery, has said the strong strike mandate came after the company’s attack on employee pensions.

The company says it’s offering the union a fair choice between two pension plan options.

Unifor declared an impasse in contract negotiations in September, which led to the appointment of a mediator.

The workers’ last contract expired in February, while the company reported in March that 2018 was a record year for earnings of nearly $1.1 billion from close to $10.7 billion in sales.

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