Oct. 18, 2017
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.
“The province’s labour laws are inadequate and need fixing, but in the meantime, the minister needs to do what he can to help facilitate a settlement in this dispute,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director. “Our members have spent 10 long months on a picket line; it’s time for the government to act.”
Unifor met with the Minister a month ago to detail the issues in the lock-out, including asking him to intervene.
“This is not a case of the minister needing to remain neutral. Neutrality is when both sides play by the rules and this employer has ignored labour laws in this province which is why the minister must exercise his authority,” said Payne.
D-J Composites was found guilty of bargaining in bad faith in May 2017 by the Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Board. The minister has the authority under s. 115(1) of the Labour Relations Act to appoint a skilled mediator to attempt to reach an agreement, or report back to the Minister on the cause of the impasse.
Members of Unifor Local 597 have been on the picket line for 303 days, after their American employer demanded unreasonable concessions, attacked seniority protections, and proposed changes that amount to union busting.
For more information, please contact Unifor Atlantic Communications representative Natalie Clancy: Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or (902) 478-9283 (cell)