Unifor vows to continue its efforts to fix the province’s labour laws to prevent labour disputes like that affecting workers at D-J Composites in Gander.
The lockout, which lasted nearly two years, came to an end last week with the arbitrator’s decision to accept the employer’s final decision. A back to work plan is now in place.
Unifor’s Atlantic Director, Lana Payne says they will continue to put the pressure on government to strengthen labour laws. She says they want to ensure that no other groups of workers go through what workers at D-J Composites had to go through.
Payne is crediting the union’s show of solidarity in September that forced the temporary shutdown of the Gander plant for prompting the company to agree to binding arbitration.
The union says even though no gains were made from the company’s final offer, it did include some of the union’s most important demands including annual step increases for wages.
Meanwhile, Minister of Labour Bernard Davis indicates efforts are underway to address the concerns raised by unions about the use of replacement workers.
He was responding to questions raised in the House of Assembly from NDP Leader Gerry Rogers, saying they are looking at a consultation process to address the issue, the details of which will be revealed in the new year.
The NDP’s Lorraine Michael probed further, asking the Minister why the provincial government chose to take a hands-off approach to the lengthy dispute.
He says government must maintain a balance between the needs of the worker and the needs of the employer, which is why consultations are planned with all sides to come up with a way to address the issue.)
Davis admitted to reporters yesterday there’s no guarantee the consultations will result in any changes.