By Alexander Schummer
TORONTO (Reuters) – Jerry Dias, who retired as the president of Canada’s largest private sector labor union due to health issues over the weekend, is being investigated by the union for an alleged breach of the union’s constitution, the union said in a statement on Monday.
Unifor launched the independent investigation after receiving a written complaint against Dias on Jan. 26, the Unifor statement added. Unifor did not give the specifics of the complaint. Unifor’s National Executive Board will meet on March 21, to discuss the matter.
Dias, who went on medical leave on Feb. 6, announced his retirement on March 11 citing unspecified health issues, the statement said. Dias was not available for comment on Unifor’s investigation.
Dias has been the national president of Unifor for eight and-a-half years and three successive terms and was due to retire at the upcoming constitutional convention in August in Toronto, Unifor said in a separate statement on Sunday.
Dias fought for Canadian labour rights after U.S. President Donald Trump demanded the North American Free Trade Agreement be rewritten, resulting in nearly two years of negotiations.
“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,” Dias said in the Sunday statement.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers. It was formed in 2013 through the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.
(Reporting by Alexander Schummer; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)