Saturday , May 8 2021

After 2 years of rescue line, lockout over the D-J composites in Gander

After almost two years of closing the jobs, workers at D-J Composites in Gander have a new collective agreement, according to their alliance.

"After two years in the rescue line, defending their rights and fighting for a collective agreement, our members can keep their heads high," said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director, in a statement released Monday.

"The solidarity we have seen across Canada has made the whole difference in bringing this dispute to a conclusion."

Workers at the aerospace manufacturing plant voted to strike in December 2016, with union leaders saying workers were without a collective agreement for 21 months, but the company first concluded them.

The situation has increased steam in September this year, when union members from across the country gathered in Gander to block access to the factory, saying it was an attempt to turn the pressure on both the company and Newfoundland and the Labrador government in a dispute.

Premier Dwight Ball agreed to meet with the union and in early October the union announced it had received a confirmation from Ball's office that the company had agreed to go to binding arbitration with Unifor.

Negotiations on a deal between D-J Composites and Unifor then continued, with the union saying the goal was to conclude an agreement with Christmas.

The new three-year agreement effectively ends with one of the longest conclusions in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador, the statement said.

Lana Payne is the regional director of Uniform in Atlanta. (Gareth Bury / PS)

According to Uniform, DJ Composites eliminated its "most indomitable requests" through arbitration, including pay-based pay.

The company has accepted some of the demands of the union, including annual wage increases, Unifer said.

"Now the challenge is to ensure a smooth process of returning work," the statement said.

The union said it would continue to pressure DJ Composites and its potential customers to increase production at the factory.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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