Unifor National President Arrested on Picket Line

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(REGINA, SK) – An interesting development in the contract negotiations happening in Regiona at a Co-op refinery. Unifor National President Jerry Dias was arrested by Regina Police.

Below are alternating media releases by Regina Police Service and Unifor.

Regina Police Media Release:

On Monday, January 20, 2020, the Regina Police Service arrested seven individuals as the result of enforcement action at one picket line outside the Co-op Refinery Complex.

From the beginning of this labour dispute, the Regina Police Service has defined its role as keeping the peace and ensuring public safety.  The law upholds the rights of the union to lawful protest; likewise, the law recognizes the company’s right to conduct business.  On Monday, January 20, 2020, police learned that Unifor members had completely blocked the entrances/exits to the Co-op Refinery Complex, not allowing vehicles to enter or exit the property, in spite of a recent court order which sets out the rules of engagement for both sides in the dispute.

Regina Police Service members attended to Gate 7 at the Refinery, the afternoon of January 20th.  Picketing members of Unifor were notified, once again, of the court order preventing them from blocking ingress or egress.  Unifor members who are not members of Local 594, were informed that they may be subject to arrest on criminal matters if they chose to ignore the court order or interfere with the lawful operation of the business.  Starting at approximately 5:15 p.m., Regina Police Service members arrested seven adult males and transported them to the Regina Police Service detention area.

Unifor Media Release:

After hundreds of Unifor members from across Canada came out to peacefully support locked out Co-op Refinery workers, the Regina Police chose to escalate the situation with heavy handed and extreme tactics, including the arrest of Unifor National President Jerry Dias and Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle.

“The Regina Police acted by arresting our members on a picket line that exists only because of Co-op’s shameful decision to lockout workers,” said Lana Payne, Unifor Secretary-Treasurer. “Tonight’s escalation was completely unnecessary and on a level I have rarely witnessed in recent years. We are calling on the Regina Police to immediately de-escalate and stop their heavy-handed tactics aimed at inflaming tensions on a peaceful and legal picket line.”

After announcing that Unifor members would peacefully halt vehicles from entering the Co-op Refinery today, the Regina Police arrested more than a dozen Unifor members, staff and elected leaders who were peacefully picketing in support of locked Unifor Local 594 members. (VIDEO OF ARREST BELOW)

“We will continue to hold the line and do whatever it takes to defend the rights of Co-op Refinery members and all workers,” said Scott Doherty, Assistant to Unifor’s National President and lead negotiator. “But in order to ensure that this dispute is resolved peacefully at the bargaining table the Regina police must halt the unprovoked arrest of our members.”

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

Regina Police Media Release:

On Monday, January 20, 2020, the Regina Police Service arrested fourteen individuals as the result of enforcement action at one picket line outside the Co-op Refinery Complex.

On Monday, January 20, 2020, police learned that Unifor members had completely blocked the entrances/exits to the Co-op Refinery Complex, not allowing vehicles to enter or exit the property, in spite of a recent court order which sets out the rules of engagement for both sides in the dispute.

Regina Police Service members attended to Gate 7 at the Refinery, the afternoon of January 20th.  Picketing members of Unifor were notified, once again, that blocking ingress or egress was in violation of the court order.  Unifor members who are not members of Local 594, were informed that they may be subject to arrest on criminal matters if they chose to ignore the court order or interfere with the lawful operation of the business.  Starting at approximately 5:15 p.m., members of the Regina Police Service arrested seven adult males, whose arrest was the subject of a previous news release. An additional seven adult males were arrested later in the evening. All fourteen were subsequently charged with mischief:

Sixty-one-year-old Jerome DIAS, of Milton, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Sixty-year-old Murray GORE, of Surrey, British Columbia, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Sixty-year-old Barry LINES, of Toronto, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Fifty-five-year-old Karl DEFOREST, of Kitchener, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Fifty-three-year-old William REID, of Scarborough, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Fifty-three-year-old Michael BYRNE, of Belle River, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Fifty-one-year-old Kenneth ANDERSON, of Tecumseh, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Forty-seven-year-old Joshua COLES, of Clinton, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Forty-seven-year-old Michael SMITH, of Delta, British Columbia, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Forty-six-year-old Gavin MCGARRICLE, of Surrey, British Columbia, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Forty-four-year-old Mario SANTOS, of Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Thirty-nine-year-old Trevor Robert LESPERANCE, of Regina, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Thirty-three-year-old Bjorn Edwin PERSON, of Regina, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

Thirty-one-year-old Charles GRIEVE, of Windsor, Ontario, is charged with mischief under $5,000 [430(4) CC].

The fourteen charged are scheduled to make their first appearance on these charges in Provincial Court on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, at 9:30 a.m.

Dias statement after arrest.

Live update from Jerry Dias on arrests at Co-op Refinery lock out // En direct de Regina avec Jerry Dias sur les arrestations au lock-out de la Co-op Refinery.

Posted by Unifor Canada on Tuesday, 21 January 2020

NOTE: The charges of “mischief” are unrelated to the court ordered injunction. The charge for breaching the court ordered injunction would be “breaching a court order”. Unifor released the following video provided below:

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5 Replies to “Unifor National President Arrested on Picket Line”

  1. Jerry Dias is such an idiot. I would be so ashamed to have him representing me! It’s a shame Thunder Bay police didn’t arrest and charge the union members during the port Arthur clinic strike!

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  2. Seems Dias will do anything for a free room and meals. I guess his union boss per diem isn’t enough to cover his traveling expenses.

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  3. dias- hoping fir a trudeau appointed position- glad he was arrested- the arrogance and narcissism seen in these actions are the same ones being displayed on the picket lines of all the teachers-
    All smiling and acting smarmy , like they on a paid vacation instead of reflecting the seriousness of the disagreements.
    Grew up in a union town and worked on both sides of the coin.
    I have no respect for these a-wholes at all

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