Police are not bringing charges against former Unifor boss Jerry Dias in the alleged bribery case

Former Unifor president Jerry Dias has not been charged after an investigation was launched last year into allegations that the longtime union leader accepted bribes, Toronto police said Thursday.

The police’s Financial Crimes Unit began investigating the former president of Canada’s largest private sector union last spring after the union handed over money Dias allegedly accepted from a supplier of rapid COVID-19 test kits for which he hired his members had advertised. Police said Thursday the investigation was complete.

At the time, Unifor accused Dias of violating the ethics code and democratic practices of the union constitution and said there would be a hearing before the national board.

Dias said in a statement that he had reached a “satisfactory legal settlement” with Unifor.

Anthony Dale, Unifor’s director of legal and constitutional affairs, said in a statement Thursday that the union’s Dias-related affairs have been resolved to its satisfaction and, under the union’s charter, he will no longer be subject to a hearing process.

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Dale said the union was informed by police in late 2022 that no criminal charges would be filed, but the union’s conclusion itself had nothing to do with the police investigation.

Dias said these developments “confirm what I have always known to be true: that throughout my 45-year career I have always acted with integrity and in the best interests of Unifor members.”

Dias said the allegations against him were not true.

“I’ve never made a dime at Unifor other than my salary and have always followed the union’s code of conduct,” he said.

“Saying that, it’s time to move on with my life.”

The union had said Dias allegedly gave a Unifor worker $25,000, which it said was half the supplier’s money. The employee then filed a grievance under the Unifor code of ethics and handed over the money to the union.

Dias pledged to visit a rehabilitation facility after the incident and said his judgment was impaired by taking painkillers, sleeping pills and alcohol to treat a sciatic nerve problem.

Dias went on furlough due to ill health on February 6, 2022, about a week after being informed of the union’s independent investigation into the union. He was due to retire this year, but did so early.

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Dias said Thursday that he has received medical attention to treat “serious health conditions, including debilitating sciatica,” and that he has also received help to break his addiction to opioids for pain management. He said he regretted the distraction of members and thanked those who reached out to him.

Dias has been President of Unifor since 2013, when it was formed as a merger of two unions. He was an outspoken figure in the labor movement in Canada and played a key role in negotiating the agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada and the successful struggle to reopen the General Motors plant in Oshawa, Ontario.

In an August 2022 election, former national secretary and treasurer Lana Payne was elected Unifor’s new president, running against Dias’ former executive assistant, Scott Doherty, and Dave Cassidy, president of Unifor Local 444.

Dias said in the statement that he was proud of his work as Unifor’s first president.

“Although I will no longer lead the actions at the picket line and at the negotiating table, I will always be Unifor’s biggest supporter.”

— With files by Tara Deschamps

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press

Police are not bringing charges against former Unifor boss Jerry Dias in the alleged bribery case

by , 2023-05-25 22:04:00


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: hung@interreviewed.com.

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