Dear Premier Ball,
On behalf of over 10,000 Aerospace workers, we want to convey our disappointment with the Newfoundland and Labrador’s government lack of action to resolve the labour dispute between D-J Composites and Unifor Local 597. Unifor Aerospace Council is appalled that a government that prides itself on defending the people of Newfoundland and Labrador would allow an American company to lock out workers for over 21 months.
The Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour alongside every member of your Government has a responsibility to protect workers when an employer breaks the law. As you are aware, D-J Composites had been found guilty of bargaining in bad faith bargaining, first being in May of 2017 by the Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Relations Board. The Labour Relations Board ordered D-J Composites to remove egregious proposals designed to eliminate seniority provisions. The Board also ordered the employer to make a new offer to the union. The new offer from D-J Composites was packaged differently but attempted to achieve what the previous proposals had been designed to do – eliminate seniority, gut wages and divide the workplace. Unifor has made every effort to get a fair contract, including requesting that Minister Al Hawkins appoint a special mediator to help resolve this dispute. The mediator was unable to get the employer to budge from their initial anti-worker position. It is the opinion of our Council that D-J Composites has made it clear that they do not respect workers or the Newfoundland Labour Board.
I urge you to reconsider your silence and help the workers who have followed protocol with a union-busting American employer who cares little for the Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Laws.
Ken Stuart, Unifor Aerospace Director
President Alex Lamarre, Unifor Aerospace Council
Vice President Maryellen McILmoyle, Unifor Aerospace Council
Secretary-Treasurer Matthew Blois, Unifor Aerospace Council
2nd Vice President Yannick Houle, Unifor Aerospace Council
3rd Vice President Carmen Lamorte Ledarney Unifor Aerospace Council