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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.
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

Organized Labour Is Seeing A Rebirth

Three years ago, those who stood for big business and against the interests of working people could smell blood in the water. And, if we're honest, who could blame them? Union membership was down to...
08/24/2016 11:41 EDT
Jason Franson/CP

Online Threats Against Rachel Notley Are Part Of A Disturbing Trend

A disgusting image was distributed on Twitter late last week and over the weekend, part of a disturbing trend that is increasingly all too common in its open targeting of women in positions of power. This image and any that threatens violence against any woman are completely unacceptable. None of these incredible women need me, or any man, to come to their defense. But as a man, and as an ally that is committed to stopping violence against women, it is my duty to tell other men that this sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable and must end.
08/17/2016 12:09 EDT
Andy Sacks via Getty Images

It's Time For Automakers To Invest In Canada

In one week, Unifor will begin its first-ever round of bargaining with the Detroit Three automakers in what may be the most important round of bargaining to take place in the sector in more than a generation. The employers should be going in these talks with their eyes wide open.
08/03/2016 11:43 EDT
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Goodbye And Good Riddance To The Harper Era

Stephen Harper emerged in May from his self-imposed obscurity to say goodbye. I say good riddance. The former prime minister who once boasted, "You won't recognize Canada when I'm through with it," lost the federal election last October and stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party, but remained a Member of Parliament.
07/28/2016 10:19 EDT
Shaun Best / Reuters

Canada's Premiers Need To Listen To Working People

Working people understand the importance of a decent job and a well-funded health care system, and the connection between the two. Labour leaders are in Whitehorse this week to make sure that message gets through to our provincial leaders, and through them to our prime minister.
07/20/2016 07:14 EDT
CP

Canada's CETA Deal Has Gone From Bad To Pointless Post-Brexit

The Harper government has been booted from power, and the U.K. has voted to leave the European Union. Both its national parties are in meltdown, and its new prime minister says she will negotiate her country's exit from the EU -- something that must happen within two years, once formal notice is given.
07/14/2016 03:59 EDT
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Canadian Workers Are Finally Being Heard

There has been a thaw of sorts lately in Ottawa and other corridors of power, as far as labour's relations with government go -- and that's a good thing for working people across this country. After a decade of being frozen out by the Harper Conservatives, what we are seeing now is a rebalancing of the voices heard by our members of parliament -- including those who sit in cabinet
07/07/2016 08:30 EDT
Chris Wattie / Reuters

Trudeau Needs To Stand Up To 'Good Friend' Mexico

I have made no secret of my respect for our new prime minister, especially after the disdain I held for his predecessor. That's why it can be tough at times to watch -- as good Canadian jobs are lost to Mexico, a place of horrible human rights abuses -- while Justin Trudeau publicly talks about being such good friends with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
06/29/2016 11:05 EDT
Trevor Hagan/CP

Manitoba's Anti-Union Bill Is A Step Backward

Canadians have a constitutional right to join a union. There is no legal (and I would argue moral) ambiguity about the place of unions in Canada. Conservative governments who can't rewrite the constitution to take that right away will use underhanded tactics to rob Canadians of their rights at work.
06/22/2016 02:44 EDT
POOL New / Reuters

Return To Fort McMurray Is Just The Beginning

This week's return is a welcome end to the wait for things to begin turning around. But it also a beginning -- the very important beginning to the rebuilding of their vibrant community. The road ahead, after all, will be difficult. Much of the city has been burned to the ground -- though, thankfully, not nearly as much as had been feared -- and much rebuilding remains.
06/01/2016 09:42 EDT
CNBC via Getty Images

Listen Up, O'Leary: Democracy Doesn't Fit On A Spreadsheet

Kevin O'Leary premiers his new reality show this weekend -- an all-too real show, in fact. The man who made a name for himself as the loudest and most offensive cast member of the Dragon's Den reality TV show will be testing the waters at the Conservative Party convention this weekend for a possible leadership bid. He would be a terrible leader. Terrible for the Conservatives and terrible for the national debate in this country. Being offensive and insensitive to the very real needs and wishes of Canadians is not leadership and it's certainly not prime ministerial.
05/25/2016 06:15 EDT
CP

Investor Protection Is The Most Insidious Part Of The TPP

It is the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system that would give corporations the right to sue governments for passing laws that hurt their ability to earn a profit -- even if those laws are in the public interest. Think about that. A government gets elected to pass the laws that its citizens want -- and then gets sued under an international trade agreement for doing exactly what it was elected to do. Think that won't happen? It already has.
05/18/2016 04:16 EDT
Topher Seguin / Reuters

Canada Steps Up In Support Of Fort McMurray

The startling images that have come out of Fort McMurray over the past week have shaken this country to its core. Canadians held their breath, hoping for the best as families fled, often unsure where they would end up, hoping with the rest of the nation that they would find someplace safe to lay their heads.
05/11/2016 11:27 EDT
Tim Robberts via Getty Images

The TPP Is The Latest In A Bad Generation Of Trade Deals

Where once trade deals dealt with bringing down tariffs to allow for the freer flow of goods between countries, today's trade deals put much more emphasis on "non-tariff barriers" such as laws and regulations within the countries involved in a trade deal -- and grant extraordinary powers to corporations to sue governments that pass laws that hurt their profits.
05/05/2016 12:10 EDT
Chris Wattie / Reuters

CanCon Is Still Relevant In The Digital Age

The digital revolution has brought many wonderful things. Canadians can plug into international events from the comfort of their own home or office, or from just about anywhere thanks to mobile devices. And the world, we hope, can do the same to find out about the great north -- Canada. The challenge, it seems, is in making sure there's Canadian content for the world to find and enjoy. Finding ways to balance the digital era with supporting local programming is key if Canada is going to continue to foster local democracy in communities.
04/27/2016 05:05 EDT
GEFHunter via Getty Images

Alberta's Budget Inspires, Newfoundland's Does Not

The NDP government of Rachel Notley is showing the rest of Canada, and Newfoundland and Labrador in particular, that when tough times hit, we look after each other. Across the country, the Liberal government of Dwight Ball is showing no such compassion, bringing in tax hikes and service cuts that hurt those with the lowest incomes most.
04/20/2016 11:05 EDT