Union says workers authorized strike just before lockout; parties have been working on new collective agreement for nearly two years
GANDER, N.L.—More than 50 workers at an aerospace components plant in Gander, Newfoundland have set up picket lines after being locked out earlier this week.
According to Unifor, D-J Composites Inc. barred employees from its facility late Monday evening after nearly two years of negotiations aimed at hammering out a new collective agreement broke down.
A subsidiary of U.S.-based D-J Engineering Inc., the plant builds composite parts for the aerospace industry.
The union says the manufacturer has insisted on wage freezes for some workers and small annual hourly increases for others. The union rejected a company offer in October and voted to authorize a strike just before the lockout.
“This employer has always been extremely difficult to deal with over the years,” Carolyn Wrice, president of the union local, said. “Our members are rightfully upset at the lack of progress at the bargaining table and with this lock-out just days before the holidays.”
Unifor negotiators say they are ready to return to the bargaining table at any time.