September 26, 2018
GANDER - Hundreds of union activists and supporters have turned the tables on the managers and scabs at a Gander Aerospace facility where 30 Unifor members have been on a picket line for 646 days, effectively locking them out.
“We have had enough of D-J Composites breaking labour laws and treating our members with contempt,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor’s National President. “It is time to take a stand for not only our members but for all workers across Canada.”
D-J Engineering, based in Kansas State owns D-J Composites. The company has been found guilty of bad faith bargaining twice.
“We are so happy to see the support shown by union members across the country who have come to Gander to stand with us,” said Ignatius Oram, Unifor Local 597 Unit Chair. “This American employer thinks they can bust the union, but we won’t ever quit.”
The employer has been using scabs to prolong the dispute while 30 Newfoundland workers face a third Christmas on a picket line in the snow.
“Today is a wake-up call, D-J’s illegal bargaining tactics have one goal. To not reach an agreement and hope we go away,” said Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director. “D-J Composite you are not in Kansas anymore.”
This is the longest lockout on the province’s history and the Premier and his cabinet continue to ignore the fact that a U.S. company is trampling on the rights of workers in Gander.
“We have all come here stand with these workers because when one of us is attacked we are all under attack,” said Renaud Gagne, Quebec Director who reminded supporters that Unifor’s 315 thousand members are standing in solidarity with locked out workers at Local 597.
For weeks Unifor has been running a social media campaign and newspaper ads, asking the public to write and call the Premier and the CEO of D-J Composites to demand a fair deal.
“Today they have no choice but to listen,” said Dias.
Photos are available for publication at this link.
For more information or to arrange interviews in on-site or by phone, FaceTime, or Skype, in English or French, please contact Unifor Director of Communications Natalie Clancy at Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell).