Jerry Dias is the first president of Canada's newest and largest private sector union UNIFOR which had its founding convention in Toronto on the weekend (August 31 - September 1).
Photo Credit: CBC

A conversation with Jerry Dias – president of Canada’s newest union UNIFOR


“It’s not just a question of being a big union,” says Jerry Dias, “It’s big ideas…It’s about engaging people. It’s about engaging our members…but it’s also about outreach to the community.”

On Saturday (August 31) Dias was elected president of Canada’s newest and largest private sector union, UNIFOR. In a wide ranging conversation with RCI, he outlined the union’s goals

uniFORlogoThe union came out of discussions between Ken Lewenza, the president of the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) and Dave Coles the president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canadda (CEP) about how the union movement could work better, especially at a time when it faces the policies of the federal government of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

RCI’s Wojtek Gwiazda spoke to UNIFOR president Jerry Dias just after his participation at the Labour Day march in Toronto on Monday (September 2) and the founding convention of UNIFOR on the weekend.

More information:
UNIFOR’s union convention website –
UNIFOR constitution –
UNIFOR video of weekend convention – here

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One comment on “A conversation with Jerry Dias – president of Canada’s newest union UNIFOR
  1. Gary Neil says:

    At ‘The International Group’, the skilled tradesmen are linked with the others. The company wants to increase the 2nd Class Engineers’ basic rate from about $32 to $42 to attract replacements. The Local 27C will not allow this to happen. Our power plant is understaffed and no one will come here for $32. Two engineers have moved elsewhere and one has retired. Quitting I.G.I. and joining another company like Black and MacDonald is (presently) the only option. AM I BEING PROTECTED? NO! Anyone with half a brain can see that the situation is ridiculous. Why was I paying union dues?
    Can YOU fix the problem. Persuade Local 27C to come to their senses PROMPTLY. I don’t want to send resumes at my advanced age, but what can I do!