profile image

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.
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It's been one year since the election that our prime minister promised would be the last under the outdated first past the post system for electing Members of Parliament.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

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