The race for the national presidency of Unifor has begun in earnest as long-time union chief Jerry Dias nears retirement and the labour organization prepares for leadership elections this summer.
Dias has headed Canada’s largest private-sector union since it was formed in 2013 and has repeatedly said his third term as president will be his last, meaning union delegates will elect a new leader at Unifor’s constitutional convention this August. Dias was elected to his third three-year term in August, 2019.
Two candidates have already declared their intention to run. Dave Cassidy, president of Unifor Local 444, which represents workers at Stellantis’ Windsor, Ont. Assembly Plant, and Scott Doherty, executive assistant to Unifor’s national president, will contend for the union’s top job.
Cassidy and Doherty announced their candidacy this month as Dias stepped away from his post to deal with undisclosed health issues. Unifor has provided no timeline for Dias’s return; he had been expected to serve out his term that will end with the election of a new president at the convention slated to run Aug. 8 to 12 in Toronto.