Jerry Dias officially announces retirement

Jerry Dias speaks at a rally in Windsor, September 12, 2019. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

The National President of Canada’s largest private-sector union is retiring.

It is not entirely unexpected. Jerry Dias wasn’t expected to retire until August, but he has been on medical leave since February 6.

The union made the announcement official over the weekend.

“After eight-and-a-half years, I can proudly say we have built an incredible organization and made Unifor the influential and successful union that it is today,” said Dias in a statement released by Unifor. “I have all the confidence the leadership, staff, and locals will continue to build Unifor into a bold and progressive force for working people from coast to coast to coast.”

Unifor’s national executive will meet next to discuss what to do about the vacancy. The constitutional convention is in August.

Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy has already announced a bid for the national presidency.

Cassidy put his name forward after the national executive threw its support behind an assistant of Dias’s, arguing the decision shouldn’t solely belong to the executive. He believes he has the backing of the rank and file.

Dias became national president in 2013.