A Message from Jerry Dias and Lana Payne

Jerry Lana

A Message from Jerry Dias and Lana Payne

Sisters and Brothers,

We are writing to share that once again our union has proven that when united we are unstoppable. D-J Composites has agreed to our proposal for binding arbitration after our 8-day solidarity action at the Gander aerospace facility.

Two weeks ago, we put out the call for volunteers and hundreds of you dropped everything to stand with 30 members who have been on a picket line for 654 shameful days. Members from every province in Canada stood with us against a union-busting American employer.

Together we stopped the scabs and have ensured there will be an end to this incredibly long dispute and our members will soon be returning to work.

After eight days and an intervention from N.L. Premier Dwight Ball, D-J Composites accepted the fact that binding arbitration is the only solution to end this dispute.

D-J Composites is now a scab free workplace.

We are incredibly proud of our union and those of you who stood on this picket line, 24 – 7 in Gander. A reporter who came to the picket line asked why Unifor would put so much time and resources into a lockout of just 30 members? Our answer is we always defend our members, whether we represent 30 or 3000 in a workplace. When you attack one of us, you attack all of us.

Thank you to all who went to Gander and thank you to those who fiercely supported our efforts on social media.

We particularly want to thank the members of Local 597 for their courage and unwavering resolve over the past 21 months. They could have easily walked away. Instead, they stared down their American employer and refused to allow our union to be broken for 92 long weeks. We have Unit Chair Iggy Oram to thank for leading the members through these difficult times.

Our 30 members have shown the labour movement what solidarity really means. We also want to thank the incredible work by our staff, in particular Scott Doherty and Shane Wark, who lead bargaining with one of the worst employers Unifor has ever encountered.

In recent months we have set a new standard for how we deal with scabs who dare cross our picket lines, months in Goderich, Thunder Bay and now Gander. Together with our solidarity, Unifor has sent a powerful message to all employers that scabs will not be tolerated at any of our workplaces. We have started a national conversation about this and the need for anti-scab legislation across Canada.

Trust us when we tell you our union is just getting started on this front.

In Solidarity,


Jerry Dias and Lana Payne


Watch the video – 10 Days in Gander