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Unifor wants N.L. government to appoint mediator in D-J Composites dispute

Unifor is calling on the provincial government appoint a mediator in the lockout between D-J Composites and its employees in Gander. SaltWire Network file photo
Unifor is calling on the provincial government appoint a mediator in the lockout between D-J Composites and its employees in Gander. SaltWire Network file photo

GANDER, NL – Unifor is calling on Advanced Education, Skills and Labour Minister Al Hawkins to appoint a mediator in the dispute between D-J Composites and its 32 employees in Gander.

The workers, members of Unifor Local 597, have been locked out by the American-based company for the past 10 months.

"The province's labour laws are inadequate and need fixing, but in the meantime, the minister needs to do what he can to help facilitate a settlement in this dispute," Lana Payne, the union’s Atlantic regional director, said in a news release.

Unifor met with Hawkins a month ago to review the issues in the lockout, also asking the provincial government to intervene at that time, the news release stated.

"This is not a case of the minister needing to remain neutral,” Payne said.

“Neutrality is when both sides play by the rules and this employer has ignored labour laws in this province which is why the minister must exercise his authority.”

The province’s Labour Relations Board found D-J Composites guilty of bargaining in bad faith in May.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Labour Relations Act gives Hawkins the authority to appoint a skilled mediator to attempt to reach an agreement or report back on the cause of the impasse, the news release states.

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