Canadian Toyota workers seek union representation
By Mary Del
As if Toyota didn’t have enough headaches already, team members at the company’s Canadian assembly plants in Cambridge and Woodstock have reportedly asked the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers for union representation.
Part of the reason Toyota managed to avoid the financial turmoil of its competitors, namely General Motors, was because the company goes to great lengths to avoid unionization at its facilities. According to the IAM, Canada’s top two manufacturing plants could soon become certified.
"The inside organizing committee have been canvassing workers for the past several months and they have received numerous requests for a return of the IAM," said IAM District 140 Organizer Ian Morland. The IAM attempted to organize the two plants in a drive from September 2007 to April 2008 but a hiring blitz by Toyota made it impossible to determine the correct number of cards required to file a vote.
‘What makes this different now is the enormous renewed interest by Toyota Team Members in becoming members of the IAM and having a union contract," explained Morland. "These are hard working people who take tremendous pride in the quality product they produced here but they also want to protect their future and they’re aware of the difference a collective agreement can make in their lives."
The IAM represents thousands of members in the Canadian automotive transportation sector at assembly and parts manufacturing facilities in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. The IAM represents more than 700,000 active and retired members in North America and administers more than 5,000 contracts in transportation, woodworking, aerospace, manufacturing and defense-related industries.