Unifor may establish local union for Toyota's Canadian plantsThu, 17 Jul 2014 13:59:00 EST
Union tactics apparently translate across borders, as Canada's Unifor may take inspiration from the United Auto Workers' recent move at the Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, TN, and establish a local for the Toyota factories in Cambridge and Woodstock.
Unifor last attempted to organize the workers at the two factories, which are responsible for production of the Toyota Corolla (above), RAV4 and Lexus RX back in April, but that vote was eventually delayed. According to that report, 3,000 of the two plants' 7,500 employees signed union cards, but that apparently wasn't enough for Unifor to force a vote.
Because of this, the union is looking at the local approach, like what the UAW is attempting with VW.
"We have union halls in Woodstock and Kitchener-Waterloo; they could elect an executive and run monthly membership meetings," union president Jerry Dias told The Windsor Star. Dias added that the union "continues to sign up new members on a regular basis."
So what would the benefit to employees be if they sign up with the local? According to The Star, while Unifor couldn't act as a bargaining agent for the workers, employees would still be able to take part in other union activities. It's not entirely clear what these include, though, and as the primary mission of a union is to act as a bargaining agent for employees, the idea of a local would appear to leave something on the table.
As for when this plan could come to fruition, Dias says a final decision isn't expected until fall.
By Brandon Turkus
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