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Jerry Dias

National President, Unifor

Jerry Dias was elected at the Unifor Founding Convention on August 31, 2013 as the first National President.

He is an experienced and trusted negotiator and organizer, taking on corporate giants from General Motors to Boeing to Coca-Cola. Jerry is a committed trade unionist, focused on the needs of local union leaders and rank-and-file members. His dedication has earned him the trust of members and shop floor bargaining committees right across the country.

Jerry served as an assistant to the CAW National President, a post that he held under two presidents since 2007. Jerry began his work life in 1978 at then de Havilland Aircraft (now Bombardier Aerospace) in Toronto. He was elected shop steward later that year in what would become a lifelong dedication to the labour movement. As plant chair in 1985, Jerry led the work stoppage that resulted in the current day national Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) – which includes the right to know about dangerous materials. He also fought against the sell-off of de Havilland, which would have resulted in a plant closure. Jerry was also elected local union president at CAW Local 112, before being appointed to the union’s national staff as the aerospace sector coordinator in 1993.

Over the last three years, Jerry has taken on the issue of violence against women through his participation, along with his son Jordan, in the Hope in High Heels walk. Jerry is the top fundraiser – helping to provide a large chunk of the operating budget of Halton Women’s Place, a women’s shelter and centre in Burlington, Ontario.

Jerry is a progressive CAW leader, with talents that will help guide Unifor in the transition from a bold idea into a powerful union for all.
Lucas Jackson / Reuters

We Must Keep Pushing Back As Trump Becomes President

At noon this Friday, what was once thought impossible is scheduled to happen -- Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. We are entering a period of unprecedented instability brought on by a Commander in Chief in the United States who seems to make policy through middle-of-the-night tweets and headline-grabbing interviews with select media.
01/18/2017 12:50 EST
Dennis McColeman via Getty Images

Together, We Can Achieve A Great Deal In 2017

The past year has been very eventful for Canada and the world -- in some very good ways, and, unfortunately, in some very bad ones. I do think the next year can provide an opportunity to support more women and marginalized people to be involved in politics and run for office, but this will require our collective actions to create spaces and opportunities.
12/28/2016 02:19 EST
Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

We Face Fresh, High-Placed Challenges To Human Rights

International Human Rights Day should be a chance to celebrate the advances we've made to make the world a safer place for those suffering the threats of hate, racism and division. But we seem to be taking steps backwards. The president-elect of the United States got to that office by unleashing and lending legitimacy to the hatred and xenophobia that we normally look to our political leaders to push back against.
12/07/2016 02:27 EST
CP

Abuse Hampers The Progress Of Women In Politics

When women are missing from politics, their lived experiences are missing -- naming the issues and coming up with solutions, identifying barriers and revealing the breadth of experience with violence. With more women in politics, we could hope that such vital issues would not be allowed to be ignored for so long in the future.
11/30/2016 11:06 EST
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Trump's Election Must Serve As A Wake-Up Call For Progressives

It is unbelievable to me that such a man can be elected president, but it serves as a warning that the politics of sexism, racism and fear still have great currency. It shows that the progress we thought we had made on the equality of women was as fragile as many in the women's movement had been warning all along. We still have a very long way to go.
11/16/2016 05:02 EST
CP

We Are Coming To The Moment Of Truth On Electoral Reform

It's been one year since the election that our prime minister promised would be the last under the outdated first past the post system for electing Members of Parliament. The Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform has crisscrossed the country getting input from Canadians about what kind of electoral system they want -- and the message has been clear.
10/26/2016 05:20 EDT
Rebecca Cook / Reuters

With Each Deal, More Canadian Jobs Are Secured

The stability of the auto industry in Canada became much more secure this week with Unifor's new collective agreement with Fiat-Chrysler. The job we set for ourselves last summer to establish a strong footprint for the entire auto industry in this country for the next generation, is not done yet. We still have a deal to negotiate with Ford.
10/13/2016 03:58 EDT
Bloomberg via Getty Images

We Must All Push Back Against Precarious Work

This is the best educated generation in this country's history. They have done all the right things. They've gone to school. They got good marks, did volunteer work to fill out their resumes and in return students and their families are drowning in sky-rocketing debt. And yet, it seems the best our economy can offer them is precarious work marked by contract jobs, low wages, uncertain shifts and no benefits.
10/05/2016 04:13 EDT
Sean Kilpatrick/CP

It's Time To Change How We Vote In Canada

We have had the same basic voting system in this country since Confederation. After 150 years, it is time for a change to something more modern, inclusive and democratic. It is time for an electoral system that ensures that everyone's voice is heard and counted when deciding the next government.
09/21/2016 04:41 EDT
JONATHAN HAYWARD/Canadian Press

Post-Harper, The Conservatives Still Don't Get It

With Harper gone, you would think the Conservatives could return to providing a reasonable alternative for voters. If you thought that, you'd be wrong. We could go on all day about how Harper's tax cuts for corporations and the rich gutted the social programs and economic development that the rest of us depend on, or how his poorly negotiated trade deals put more power in the hand of corporations at the expense of jobs and a stable future for working Canadians, but the real point here is that these sorts of comments show just how out of touch the Conservative Party has become.
08/31/2016 11:37 EDT