Canadian Union Boss Retires, Cites Health Issues

canadian union boss retires cites health issues

Jerry Dias, the man who’s been at the helm of Unifor in Canada since its inception, has chosen to retire because of health reasons. On medical leave since last month, Dias announced his decision in a statement yesterday.

Unifor, in case you’re wondering why we’re covering this on a car site, represents about 40,000 workers in the Canadian auto industry and was formed out of a merger between the Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada in 2013.

Dias was perpetually at the fore of communications when it came to auto manufacturing north of the border. He and the Unifor team led the charge to secure production at a General Motors facility in Oshawa, Ontario after GM announced the building of new cars at Oshawa would wind down in 2019 and cease by the end of that year. Instead of the planned stamping work and test track for autonomous tech, the facility started making full-size pickups. The first truck from that deal popped off the line in mid-November last year.

The big boss had previously announced his intentions to retire this coming August, following his third term as national president. He then said in February, via Twitter, that he was taking some time off to “deal with some health issues” and expressed confidence in his team to lead the shop in his absence. With the August date on the horizon, two union members have already announced their bids to campaign for the national presidency. That effort will presumably be expedited following this earlier-than-expected retirement, with the National Executive Board meeting on March 21 to determine the next steps.

Canada’s auto manufacturing industry has, like its cousins around the world, had its share of ups and downs. In addition to a variety of supporting players, companies such as Ford, GM, Honda, Stellantis, and Toyota all make products or parts in the Great White North. Not all of these workers are represented by Unifor. In terms of volume, Canadian sales run at about a tenth of America, a figure which roughly aligns with our populations if not our landmasses. This explains why the two countries are so closely linked in terms of product. Still, there are occasions when regional preferences take over, showing up in the form of unique trim packages for the hosers or – not often, but sometimes – entirely different models.

Unifor represents over 300,000 workers in Canada with about 12 percent of those people toiling either in auto assembly, parts, or vehicle dealerships.

[Image: Unifor, Twitter]

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  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.