Unjust Transition

The Future for Fossil Fuel Workers

edited by Emily Eaton, Andrew Stevens and Sean Tucker  

The worker lockout at Regina’s Co-op Refinery Complex shows that, left unchecked, corporations will transfer the costs and burdens of the necessary transition to a fossil fuel–free future to workers.

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  • March 2024
  • ISBN: 9781773636726
  • 200 pages
  • $29.00
  • For sale worldwide
  • PDF March 2024
  • ISBN: 9781773636733
  • $28.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB March 2024
  • ISBN: 9781773636740
  • $28.99
  • For sale worldwide

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About the book

In 2019, Regina’s Co-op Refinery Complex (CRC), a subsidiary of Federated Co-operative, locked out Unifor Local 594 after collective bargaining negotiations failed. CRC used the transition to a “low carbon” future as the justification for concessions on working conditions and reducing the workers' pension plan. The lockout demonstrates what a “just transition” means to fossil fuel corporations: rollbacks of collective bargaining, worker rights, cooperative spirit and environmental justice. In the name of a new future, Federated Co-operative and the Saskatchewan government trampled all over important worker rights — the right to strike and picket, occupational health and safety, pensions and collective bargaining. It also highlights the sorry state of co-operative values in Canada. As corporations and governments are poised to make a transition that will be detrimental to workers and communities, this books argues that solidarity between unions and community movements is absolutely necessary to make the transition away from fossil fuels a just one.

Capitalism & Alternatives Climate & Ecology Labour & Unions


Emily Eaton

Emily Eaton is a professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Regina. She is a white settler doing community-based research that examines the power and influence of the fossil fuel industries and maps pathways to climate action that prioritize the needs of equity-deserving communities and rectify the unjust colonial relationship that Canada has with Indigenous Peoples.

Andrew Stevens

Andrew Stevens is an associate professor in the Faculty of Business Administration at the University of Regina. His research is situated in the sociology of work and employment, with a focus on collective action, migrant labour policy, labour studies and political economy. He co-founded and is an editor of Rankandfile.ca.

Sean Tucker

Sean Tucker is a professor in the Faculty of Business Administration at the University of Regina. He teaches and researches leadership and occupational health and safety. 


  • Chapter 1: Refinery Town in the Petro-State: Co-opting the Just Transition (Emily Eaton, Andrew Stevens and Sean Tucker)
  • Chapter 2: Horizons of solidarity: The Regina Refinery Pension Lockout (Kevin Skerrett)
  • Chapter 3: “They Had No Intention of Ever Coming to an Agreement”: Voices of 594 (Local 594 members and editors Emily Eaton, Andrew Stevens and Sean Tucker)
  • Chapter 4: Class Power and Legal Coercion in the Regina Refinery Lockout (Charles Smith and Lisa Wanlin)
  • Chapter 5: Ungovernable: How a Refinery became “Too Big to Fail” – And What It Means to the People of Saskatchewan (Patricia Elliot)
  • Chapter 6: “You’re Not Boiling Milk”: Health and Safety at the Co-op Refinery (Sean Tucker)
  • Chapter 7: The Regina Refinery Lockout and the Many Crises of Journalism (Doug Nesbitt and Emily Leedham)
  • Chapter 8: Towards a Just Transition for Refinery Workers? Taking Control of the Change (Emily Eaton)
  • Chapter 9: Transition Pathways: Workers before Profits (Emily Eaton, Andrew Stevens and Sean Tucker)


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