Unifor defends anti-Conservative stance despite being on media bailout committee

“We do not tell members how to vote but I will be speaking out against the Conservative Party,” wrote Dias in the statement.

The head of Unifor, the largest union representing journalists and media professionals across Canada, has put out a statement defending his frequent anti-Conservative remarks.

“We do not tell members how to vote but I will be speaking out against the Conservative Party,” wrote Dias in the statement.

Dias has explicitly come out in opposition to the official opposition numerous times before and has even butted heads with Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer.

Unifor was one of the groups selected to oversee the distribution of a $600 million media bailout package.

The union was selected to sit on an advisory panel charged with divvying up the government funds and selecting media companies that will be listed as “Qualified Canadian Journalism Organizations.”

Past comments by Dias have brought into question the union’s ability to make objective judgements when dolling out government dollars.

In November of 2018, Unifor publicly self-identified on Twitter as “Scheer’s worst nightmare.”

The union has also claimed that the opposition leader was “unfit to lead” after Scheer criticized the group’s partisanship role on the committee.

In the letter, Dias acknowledges that members of his own union have come out in opposition to the president’s partisanship.

“Journalists, my own communications staff, even our Atlantic Regional Director, Lana Payne, a former journalists [sic], have all explained to me why our union’s partisan stance makes some of you uncomfortable,” said Dias.

Shortly after Unifor was chosen as a member of the committee, the Canadian Association of Journalists threatened to quit the panel over fears of a lack of transparency in the decision making process.

Throughout the letter, Dias doubles down on his opposition to the Conservative Party.

“You [journalists] have a job to do. Be objective and fearless in uncovering the truth with integrity. My job is to defend your jobs.”