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Rally to support workers locked out for a second Christmas in Gander

December 14, 2017

St-John's - Members of Unifor local 597 will mark the one-year anniversary of the day their American-based employer locked them out, with a bus ride from Gander to the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature in St. John’s for a solidarity rally. 

“If the province had stronger labour laws there is no way this American company could get away with its shameful union busting and would have to instead negotiate fairly,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director.

Just days before Christmas last year, Kansas State based company, D-J Composites, locked out 32 workers at the aerospace manufacturing facility he owns in Gander, Newfoundland. While the company owner, Rezaul Chowdhury, will spend the holidays in his Kansas State mansion, 4500 kilometers away, Unifor members are bracing for a second Christmas on a frigid picket line.

What:                      One-year anniversary rally of D-J Composites lock-out

When:                     Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.  NL Time 

Where:                   Confederation Building, 100 Prince Philip Drive, St. John's, NL   

Who:                       Speakers include locked-out workers, Unifor’s Atlantic Regional Director Lana Payne, the President of Newfoundland Federation of Labour Mary Shortall, other union leaders, plus a surprise presentation to locked-out workers.

D-J Composite was found guilty of bargaining in bad faith by the provincial labour board in May, 2017, and mediation ordered by the Newfoundland Minister of Labour even failed to get the company to budge on its unreasonable demands, which include gutting seniority provisions, and arbitrary merit pay.  Workers from several unions are united in a call for the government to fix provincial legislation to allow for binding arbitration. This employer must return to the table to bargain fairly.

Photos from the picket line are available for publication at this link with credit to Unifor.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information, or to arrange interviews in advance of the rally, please contact Unifor Atlantic Communications Representative Natalie Clancy or (902) 478-9283 (