Canada: Toyota workers could join union image

The employees at Toyota’s Ontario facilities could vote next week whether to join the Unifor union, the Canadian Auto Workers successor, which currently represents Chrysler, General Motors and Ford plants in the province.

While in the past the CAW had difficulties in its attempts to unionize workers at Toyota and Honda facilities there, the new union – Unifor – hopes it will succeed, mainly because of changes imposed by Toyota. The Japanese company has set up a 10 hour work day and is increasingly relying on contract and temporary employees, which have separate compensation systems.

“I am encouraging you to vote Yes to Unifor representation at the Toyota plants in your country. Unifor representation will pave the way for the creation of unionized plants also in Canada like most of the Toyota plants worldwide,” said Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of the IndustriALL Global Union.

The Unifor campaign is hot on the heels of the unsuccessful campaign by the UAW in the US to unionize Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant. Also, Toyota is currently disputing Unifor’s call for a vote – saying the union ha snot yet reached the 40% threshold of workers needed by Canadian labor law. The union and the company are now disputing the estimated 6.500 workforce number at the two Woodstock and Cambridge, Ontario assembly facilities.