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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.
s-c-s via Getty Images

What The Panama Papers Have Shown The World

As the deadline looms for honest tax-paying Canadians to file their income tax, word comes this week that the wealthiest among us are going to extreme lengths to avoid paying their fair share. The Panama Papers, at 2.6 terabytes of data believed to be the largest-ever leak of documents, reveal the secret dealings of the world's rich and famous who avoid paying taxes. The scheme is to funnel cash through shell companies offering tax havens around the world. And Panama is just one of many examples.
04/08/2016 05:36 EDT
Susan Trigg via Getty Images

It's Time Employment Insurance Came With A Guarantee

No government should ever be allowed to take money out of the EI fund, and it may be time to consider entrenching that principle in law. Legislation that guarantees that the money workers pay into EI will be there for them when they need it would give those workers and their communities a great deal of comfort. Our new government has made significant steps in ensuring that EI meets the needs of workers and their communities. Guaranteeing the money will be there for them when they need it would be the next logical step.
03/30/2016 05:35 EDT
Bombardier

The Budget Omits Crucial Support For The Auto And Aerospace Sector

These two advanced manufacturing sectors directly employ more than 200,000 Canadians in good jobs that form the backbone of Canada's middle class. Even more are employed in the spinoffs from these two sectors -- both the suppliers to auto and aerospace, and the spending habits of its well-paid workers.
03/24/2016 02:28 EDT
DR

Don't Dismiss Support For Bombardier As 'Corporate Welfare'

As debate about federal support for the biggest player in Canada's aerospace industry, Bombardier, has heated up over the last few months, critics have come forward to say that investing in Bombardier would be a mistake, and that the company should be left to sink or swim on its own. They couldn't be more wrong.
03/16/2016 04:52 EDT
CANADIAN PRESS

Unity Is Needed For A Renewed Softwood Lumber Deal

The next seven months could be very nervous times in Canada's forestry sector, particularly softwood lumber. That's because the Softwood Lumber Agreement that Canada signed with the U.S. in 2006 expired last October 12. Canada had hoped to simply renew the agreement at that time, but the U.S. refused.
03/09/2016 12:46 EST
CP

The Federal Budget Must Stimulate The Economy

Ever since Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced Monday that the federal deficit would top $18.4 billion, all the familiar voices of right wing commentators, Bay Street analysts and Conservative politicians have made their all-too predictable calls for budget cuts and curtailed spending. They couldn't be more wrong. Now, in fact, is the time for some strategic spending to get the economy going, even if it means increasing the federal deficit when the budget is handed down on March 22.
02/24/2016 08:55 EST
CP

The Liberals Must Act To Save Canada's Struggling Newsrooms

At a time when our consumption of the news is at an all-time high, the very institutions at the heart of our news media are in crisis -- and demanding the attention of our political leaders. Postmedia combined newsrooms in Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver in a move that not only saw many talented and dedicated journalists pushed out the door, but also saw distinctive voices quieted.
01/27/2016 03:53 EST
Getty Images

At Least An O'Leary Conservative Leadership Would Be Honest

That a man like Kevin O'Leary, famous for his nasty turn on the CBC's Dragon's Den TV show, would consider himself a good candidate to lead the Conservatives exposes what the right wing in this country is truly all about. He as leader would at least be an honest admission by the right about their true values.
01/15/2016 05:43 EST
CP

The Conservatives Have Steered Canada Into a Preventable Recession

How far has Canada's economic star fallen? Only recently Prime Minister Stephen Harper boasted that Canada's economy was "the envy of the entire world." That claim was always overstated. Now it is downright ludicrous. We must look to government for a more effective response to the recession. Unfortunately, however, that looks like another policy dead-end. Because so far the response of federal Conservatives has been as ineffectual as it is predictable: deny, point fingers, and spread fear.
07/21/2015 08:32 EDT
Renold Zergat via Getty Images

What 'Let's Talk TV' Isn't Talking About

For almost a year now, Canada's broadcast regulator has been holding an important conversation with Canadians about the future of television. And while the effort, dubbed "Let's Talk TV," has heard from individual Canadians, the Commission has so far not addressed some of the most important issues.
09/10/2014 05:45 EDT

Is Canada Better or Worse Off With CETA?

What we know about the proposed free trade deal with Europe announced "in-principle" just over a week ago comes to us through leaks and press releases from those generally in favour of the deal. And, already there's reason for concern. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will no doubt contain some good and bad things for Canadians worried about the security of their jobs or the opportunities for them or their children to find meaningful employment. Any trade deal would. What we don't know, and can't know until we see the entire text of the deal, is how the two balance.
10/29/2013 08:06 EDT
shutterstock

This Year, I'm Giving Thanks for My Union

This year I'm thankful for things like a good home and a family to share it with, and the ability to provide for that family and to help our children pursue the opportunities in their lives. I'm also thankful for having been a member of a union which made all that possible. But for this year, too many families are struggling in low-paying and precarious jobs that make it difficult -- if not impossible -- to provide a decent standard of living for their loved ones.
10/13/2013 12:14 EDT

Job Quality and Security Are Fading in Canada

Every year on October 7 workers around the globe recognize the World Day for Decent Work. It reminds us of the current and constant downward pressure placed on workers, as incomes stagnate, as wealth concentrates in the hands of the privileged few and as jobs become more insecure and more precarious.
10/07/2013 05:29 EDT