Toronto, Ontario — The Canadian auto industry bid farewell to a long-time labour advocate on Wednesday, as Unifor National president Jerry Dias announced his retirement amid ongoing personal health concerns.
Unifor’s National Executive Board was contacted by Dias on Friday, informing them of his immediate retirement. He had been on medical leave since Feb. 6.
“After eight and a half years I can proudly say we have built an incredible organization and made Unifor the influential and successful union it is today,” said Dias, 63, in Unifor’s press release.
“I have all the confidence the leadership, staff and locals will continue to build Unifor into a bold and progressive force for working people.”
Dias served as Unifor’s head through the re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and was also instrumental in keeping Ford’s Oakville, Ont. assembly plant and General Motors’ Oshawa, Ont. plant running when employment was uncertain for its workers.
The National Executive Board plans to meet in the coming days to discuss the next steps following Dias’ retirement.