32 aerospace workers from local 597 were locked out by their American-based employer more than a year ago, just before Christmas in December of 2016.
The employer is headquartered in the right to work state of Kansas and has been allowed to behave as though its Gander operation is not obligated to follow labour laws.
On December 19, 2017, one year after this shameful lock-out began; Unifor filed a second labour board complaint against D-J composites, which has already been found guilty of bad faith bargaining, in May of 2017.
On December 20, with the help of trade unionists from across North America, a social media thunderclap reached 308 thousand people, and sent a message to the company owner to stop union busting and come back to the negotiating table. Supporters also emailed the Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Labour to meaningfully step in.
The members in Gander wish to thank the hundreds of Unifor locals, trade unions and individuals in Canada for their generous financial and moral support. Help has also come from other unions across North America.
As the members of Local 597 continue to hold the picket line during a second winter, support is still needed.
Here are two ways you can help to support and defend the right to free and fair collective bargaining in Gander.
1. Send a letter to Rezaul Chowdhury, president of D-J Composites (Engineering). It’s time for the company to accept that their tactics are not working. They must negotiate.
2. Send a solidarity donation in one of two ways:
Via e-transfer email@example.com with security answer local597 (no space)
Or mail a cheque to Unifor Local 597 with D-J Composites Unit in the memo line to:
Unifor Local 597 Attn: Carolyn Wrice, PO Box 922, St. John’s NL A1C 5L7.