As the shameful lockout of Local 597 members enters week 80 in Gander N.L., Unifor is intensifying its campaign to fix outdated provincial labour laws.
“We have written letters that went unanswered, made phone calls that were ignored, held protests, and maybe now Premier Dwight Ball will respond to giant digital billboards asking him whose side he is on?” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director.
More than 30 aerospace workers were locked out in December 2016 by D-J Composites, which is owned by a Kansas-state based company.
D-J Composites has twice been found guilty of breaking provincial labour laws, including bargaining in bad faith.
“The problem for us is the employer has faced no consequences for this action and the premier refuses to meet with us,” said Ignatius Oram, Unit Chair, who appears in billboards that are running in St. John’s and in Ball’s home town of Deer Lake, part of his west coast district.
Payne wrote again to the premier in April and National President Jerry Dias wrote the premier in May. No response was received. “The premier continues to ignore the plight of these workers and by doing so, he has taken a side and it’s not the side of our members,” said Payne.
In addition to billboards, the union’s campaign will include lobbying MHAs, as well as a number of other tactics, designed to bring attention to the government’s inaction.
To find out how you can help the locked out members of Local 597 go to this link.