An independent mediator will be appointed to attempt to put an end to a 306 day lockout of Unifor members at D-J Composites, announced the Newfoundland government today.
“Unifor is pleased the minister has agreed to our request for an independent mediator. This has been a very long and very difficult ten months for these aerospace workers,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director.
In September the union 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 skilled mediator to assist in resolving the dispute or report back on what the obstacles are to reaching a collective agreement.
“We have 32 members facing a second Christmas on a picket line and our goal has always been to negotiate a fair collective agreement for these workers,” said Payne.
The aerospace workers in Gander, NL were locked out by their American-based employer on December 19, 2016. In May 2017, the Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Board found D-J Composites guilty of bad faith bargaining.
The provincial labour department says it has provided conciliation services to both sides since August, and after meeting with both sides the Minister now believes an independent mediator is needed.
“The appointment of an independent mediator will bring a fresh perspective to the collective bargaining process. I urge the parties to avail of this opportunity and to make a determined and honest effort to bring an end to this dispute,” said Hawkins.
The province has not identified who will be appointed but Unifor’s bargaining committee is looking forward to working with the mediator to bring a fair end to this dispute.