Jerry Dias Ethics Breach – Thorough Investigation Needed

Update – The Local 222 membership meeting on Thursday, May 5, 2022 voted to send this letter to the Unifor National Executive Board.

The allegations surrounding Jerry Dias are very serious and we must urge that the scope of the investigation be immediately broadened. A letter has been drafted—it needs your support at the May 5 membership meeting to be sent. Here is the letter:

Re:  Request for Additional Investigation Resulting from Constitutional Complaint

Like many members of Unifor, we are shocked and frustrated by the revelation of ethical violations by former Unifor National President Jerry Dias. This situation raises many questions that demand answers. If members’ confidence in the union is to be repaired the scope of the investigation within Unifor must be immediately broadened. While it is clear that a serious breach of the Constitution has occurred if Jerry Dias accepted money from a supplier in exchange for promoting their product, it is not clear that this is the only breach. It is not clear that his actions or the actions of others do not cross other lines warranting further investigation.

Members are aware that the incident involving a bag of cash and alleged improper dealings with a supplier company, is now in the hands of the Toronto Police financial crimes unit. However, there are important questions beyond the details of the specific incident forwarded to the Toronto Police Service that must be thoroughly investigated to restore member’s confidence in our union.

Concerns that should be further investigated include, but are not limited to:

  1. Unifor stated at the press conference on March 23, 2022 that “We are treating this as an isolated incident.” However, there must be a thorough investigation to find out whether or not it is an isolated incident. Unifor is requested to undertake the type of investigation that is necessary to make that determination. 
  1. Unifor is requested to examine and report if there are policies or practices that facilitated, encouraged, or failed to prevent serious ethical lapses? Are there systemic issues to be corrected? Unifor reported that former President Dias “promoted a supplier’s rapid test kits to various Unifor employers, either directly or through Unifor staff under his direction”. What is wrong with the culture of our union that this did not set off red flags?
  1. These allegations have created serious unease about the potential misuse of dues money. Unifor is requested to complete a thorough audit of spending practices by top leadership, elected and appointed, to ensure there has not been improper personal benefit or misuse of funds. 

The test of our union’s integrity is just beginning. Unifor cannot claim transparency and accountability as a union if we leave important questions unanswered. Now is the time for hard conversations, evaluating our direction, and repairing our relationship with our members.