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Unifor members to elect new national president in Toronto this week

Unifor signage is on display during a press conference in Toronto on Thursday, October 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

TORONTO — Unifor members from across Canada are gathering in Toronto this week to elect the union’s next leader, several months after former national president Jerry Dias stepped down.

Monday will kick off the start of the union’s fourth constitutional convention where elections for Dias’ successor, the next secretary-treasurer and regional directors will take place throughout the week.

Delegates will also vote on key priorities and initiatives.

Read more: Unifor to provide update on complaint filed against former president Jerry Dias

Earlier this year, Dias was charged with violating the code of ethics and democratic practices of the union’s constitution.

Dias had long been the face of Unifor.

He led the union since 2013 and was reelected in 2016 and 2019.

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Read more: Unifor president Jerry Dias retires amid ongoing health issues

He had a reputation for being tough-talking, scrappy and willing to push everyone from top companies to politicians to act in workers’ best interests, and was a key figure during the negotiation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

He also successfully encouraged General Motors Canada to reopen a plant in Oshawa, Ont., invest up to $1.3 billion and hire up to 1,700 workers after it planned to close the facility.

Unifor has more than 315,000 members.

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