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Toyota Workers in Canada May Join Union

Vote to join Unifor could occur next week.

by on Apr.03, 2014

Unifor Pres. Jerry Dias is the union's new leader. The union is pushing to hold a vote allowing Toyota workers in Canadian plants to join Unifor.

Workers at Toyota plants in Ontario could vote next week on whether to join Unifor, the successor to the Canadian Auto Workers union, which now represents employees at Chrysler, General Motors and Ford plants across the Canadian province.

The upcoming vote follows several failed attempts by the CAW to organize workers at the Toyota and Honda plants in Ontario. Unifor, however, believes workers are more receptive to the union’s appeal because of several recent changes in the way Toyota operates the plants, including a switch to a 10-hour day.

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Workers are also concerned about Toyota’s growing use of contract and temporary employees, who have a separate compensation system, according to Unifor officials. (more…)

Toyota and UAW Headed for Battle?

Union could target Japanese giant in bid to organize “transplants.”

by on Jan.20, 2011

Organizing the transplants could be critical to the UAW's survival, warns King.

The long-stalled bid to organize foreign-owned “transplant” assembly lines has become the single over-riding priority of the United Auto Workers Union.  And it could be leading to an epic battle between a weakened union and a “damaged” automotive giant.

Two decades ago, the transplants were little more than an after-thought, but these days, with foreign brands controlling more than half the American car market – and a major share of the “imports” actually being built in the U.S. – the organization drive could be essential to the UAW’s survival, acknowledges the union’s new president, Bob King.

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Earlier this month, King fired a warning shot at an automotive conference in Detroit, alerting industry leaders that the UAW will ramp up its recruiting drive – and likely focusing on one key manufacturer to spearhead that effort.  While the choice of a target may take another 90 days, King broadly hinted that Toyota may find itself in the crosshairs.

“This is about whether we survive as a meaningful force in America or not,” said King, during a conference in Washington, D.C.

(more…)