Another violation but no consequences for employer in D-J lock-out
For the second time, the Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Board has found D-J Composites in violation of the provincial Labour Relations Act.
However the board did not agree to take any action that would help resolve the lock-out that began 410 days ago for 30 aerospace workers of local 597 in Gander.
“This highlights the complete and total inadequacy of the province’s outdated labour laws which employers use to deny workers their rights. Make no mistake, the government has taken a side in this dispute. It is siding with the American employer,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director.
These workers were locked-out by their Kansas State-based employer just before Christmas in December 2016.
Last week the labour board found the employer in violation of section 75 of the Act, but has not yet released its written reasons for this decision.
The only remedy the board applied was to issue a written order to D-J Composites to cease contacting members in a manner that violates the Labour Relations Act, as they did in June when they sent individual offers to return to work, to locked-out members.
Unifor believes the Labour Board needs additional powers in order to deal with employers who blatantly violate laws with no repercussions.
The union has taken its concerns to the Newfoundland and Labrador government, including the premier, to demand legislative changes.
Mediation attempt fails
It is with great frustration to report that an attempt at mediation has failed to produce a resolution for a fair collective agreement for the locked out members of local 597.
Unifor’s bargaining committee has been and continues to be committed to negotiating a fair and reasonable agreement but the employer was not and continues to make demands that disregard seniority rights of workers at D-J Composites and undermines the union.
336 days into this lockout, and the company’s proposals are neither fair nor reasonable to our 32 members facing another Christmas out in the cold. For example, the employer continues to seek:
- A merit based wage schedule (conditional pay);
- A wage offer that would have some members’ wages frozen at their April 1, 2014 wage rate until at least December 2020; and
- Workplace reorganization scheme that places workers into classifications, regardless of seniority.
John Roil, an experienced independent mediator was appointed by the Newfoundland government in an effort to mediate a settlement with D-J, an American-based employer that had already been found guilty of bad faith bargaining by the Labour Board.
When the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, Honourable Al Hawkins appointed an independent mediator, he urged both parties (the union and the employer) to “make a determined effort to work with Mr. Roil to bring an end to the dispute,” but the company clearly failed to take that advice.
Unifor’s bargaining committee remains committed to getting our members back on the job by negotiating a fair collective agreement.
Experienced Mediator appointed in D-J Composites lockout
313 days into a lockout of Unifor members in Gander, NL, an experienced independent mediator has been appointed by the Newfoundland government to attempt to resolve the dispute at D-J Composites.
John Roil , is a lawyer with extensive mediation experience and has served on several independent inquiries including the 2011 Vale inquiry in to the lengthy labour dispute in Voisey’s Bay.
“We can only hope that Roil will be able to bring his considerable skill to reach a fair collective agreement in what has been a very long and very difficult ten months for these 32 aerospace workers,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director.
In September Payne and other Unifor officials met with the Honourable Al Hawkins, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour to request he use his authority under s. 115(1) of the Labour Relations Act to appoint a mediator to try and resolve the dispute or report back on what the obstacles are to a resolution.
The provincial labour department has provided conciliation services since August.
“This is an excellent opportunity to resolve outstanding issues. I urge the parties to make a determined effort to work with Mr. Roil to bring an end to the dispute,” said Honourable Al Hawkins Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour.
Unifor’s bargaining committee is looking forward to working with Roil to get workers back on the job with a fair collective agreement.
Unifor calls on NL Minister to appoint mediator in D-J Composites lock out
St. John’s - Unifor is calling on Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Labour, Al Hawkins, to appoint a mediator, 10 months into a lockout of thirty-two workers in Gander by their American-based employer, D-J Composites.
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