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Unifor's Jerry Dias takes medical leave, will not stand for re-election


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Unifor president Jerry Dias takes medical leave to deal with health issues

Unifor says Jerry Dias 'did not make the decision to take this leave easily'

Thu Feb 17, 2022 - Automotive News
by David Kennedy 

Unifor National President Jerry Dias said Wednesday he is taking time off to deal with health issues. 

The head of the union that represents hourly workers at Detroit Three plants in Canada and thousands of workers at Canadian auto parts facilities, is currently serving a third and final term as head of Unifor.

“To my Unifor family: My Twitter account will be a little quiet for a while. I am taking some time off to deal with some health issues,” Dias said in a tweet Wednesday afternoon. He added he had “every confidence” in the union’s leadership team and staff during his absence.

While Dias, 63, announced the leave of absence Feb. 16, a memo to union locals and staff shows he has been on leave since Feb. 6. The memo from National Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne adds Dias “did not make the decision to take this leave easily.”

Dias has said he will retire later this year as opposed to stand for re-election. He will have spent nine years as Unifor’s head, serving since the union was formed in 2013 by the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

Dias is also currently engaged in countering U.S. protectionism, serving as chair of an Ontario Premier’s Council formed in response to American threats to Canada’s auto sector.

The union said Unifor's assistant to the national president, Shane Wark, is taking the lead on auto industry matters in Dias’ absence.

Unifor is the predominant union for workers in Canada’s auto industry as well as representing thousands of other workers in the transportation, health care and hospitality sectors.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Looks like good old Jerry was taking kickbacks.


But wait, like a typical fraud, he is saying that it is not his fault. He has a back problem and all his medications and booze impaired his judgement. Of course, it is just a coincidence that his impairment would never result in him losing money, only gaining money.

Gee, I wonder where all those union dues are going. Sometimes it ain’t management screwing the worker around, it is the one claiming to be your saviour 



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Unifor whistleblower reported Jerry Dias after being offered $25K

Dias, who was under “significant stress” after being forced to choose between two “close friends” to endorse as his successor, gave $25,000 to national assistant Chris MacDonald, who reported the breach, union says

Thu Mar 24, 2022 - Toronto Star
by Sara Mojtehedzadeh - Work and Wealth Reporter


“Almost all major Canadian unions have problems with democracy,”. “They’re more democratic than any corporation, but these are all very large highly bureaucratic organizations. A lot of the vibrant democratic culture that once existed has been lost.”


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  • 3 months later...

"Between December 2021 and January 2022, both Dias and MacDonald promoted rapid tests made by the company to Unifor employers, the report summary says. During that time, MacDonald “acted on Dias’ instructions,” the investigators wrote.

“Person B” at the rapid testing company also “exerted pressure” on MacDonald to “make as many introductions as he could” and implied that the union rep would be “taken care of” for his efforts, the investigators found.

MacDonald told Person B that he did not want or expect compensation, investigators found.

By Christmas, “Person A” had given Dias a bottle of cologne intended for MacDonald, according to the findings.

In late January, having decided to back another assistant — Scott Doherty — as the next Unifor president, Dias invited MacDonald to his office.

There, Dias offered MacDonald half of a $50,000 pile of cash, telling him that he’d received the money from “Person A” at the rapid test supplier, the summary report and meeting minutes said.

MacDonald told Dias they should not accept the money and suggested giving it to a woman’s shelter, according to the investigation.

But the union president “pressured” MacDonald to keep the funds, and suggested he could use it to buy Dias’ boat, the investigation summary says.

MacDonald took the money, but immediately called a colleague — Unifor’s Ontario regional director Naureen Rizvi. He also sought advice from a staff lawyer with the union, and put the money in a secure place at his father-in-law’s house, the investigation says.

Four days after receiving the funds, he verbally notified Payne and handed over the money and cologne bottle, filing an official complaint soon after, according to the probe summary and a statement MacDonald gave to the Star.

“Our members will likely forgive a mistake but they won’t forgive a cover up,”

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