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Unifor files labour complaint against U.S.-based D-J Composites

April 5, 2017

(Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador) – Unifor filed an unfair labour practice complaint with the Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Relations Board against U.S.-based D-J Composites. The company locked out its Gander aerospace employees on December 19, 2016.

“This lockout is not about money or wage freeze demands before the lockout. It is about breaking the union,” said Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director. “The proposals tabled by the company on March 7 included a blatant attack on seniority protections for workers - a clear sign that D-J Composites seeks to bust the union in this workplace.”

Since 2012 when D-J bought the Gander plant, there has been a pattern of behavior designed to weaken the union in the workplace.

"Instead of holding a hardline on egregious concessions, the employer came back to the bargaining table with worse concessions than before the lockout. This amounts to bad faith bargaining," said Payne.

D-J Composites, a subsidiary of D-J Engineering, is headquartered in Augusta, Kansas, a right-to-work state. In Gander, the 32 employees are unionized with Unifor Local 597.

"This U.S.-based company needs a reminder that this is Canada and Canadian labour laws and the culture of labour relations are different," said Shane Wark, Assistant to Unifor National President with responsibility for aerospace. "Unifor will not stand by while this company attempts to impose its union-busting tactics against our members. Anyone with any bargaining experience will tell you that the company’s latest demands are a sign that they are not interested in a negotiating a resolution.”

Carolyn Wrice, Unifor Local 597 President, said the actions of this employer are offensive. “Can you imagine being locked out during one of the most brutal winters in recent times and have your employer come back to the bargaining table with even worse concessions than before they locked you out? It is simply unacceptable.”

For further information: please contact Unifor Communications National Representative
Shelley Amyotte at shelley.amyotte@unifor.org or 902-717-7491 (cell).