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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.
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
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