Toyota team members to vote on joining Unifor

Today Unifor filed to be the certified bargaining agent for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada.

KITCHENER, ON, March 31, 2014 /CNW/ - "Toyota is a good company and I am proud to be part of it. But I have concerns. I am worried that Toyota team members do not have a real voice at our workplace - which means the company can and does make arbitrary decisions," said Denton Schriver, a Toyota team member. "Joining Unifor will mean a made-for-Toyota agreement, created by and for Toyota team members. It will mean a real voice in creating a secure future for our families and this company."

"When Unifor was asked by Toyota team members to work with them to make this successful company even better, I was delighted," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "Unifor was built to ensure good jobs and strong communities now and in the future. When I met with the thoughtful and proud Toyota team members it was clear to me that we share this commitment."

It is expected that approximately 6500 Toyota employees will vote next week on joining Unifor.

Toyota team members have identified a number of concerns including: wages, pensions, contracts, arbitrary decision-making and health and safety standards.

While none of Toyota's facilities in North America are unionized, 90 per cent of Toyota plants around the world are unionized. Toyota currently has $40 billion in cash - and the company recently announced large increases in profits.

"Clearly, unions already play a significant role in Toyota's success around the world - and Unifor can play such a role right here in Canada," said Schriver.

Carrie-Ann Ostrom, another Toyota member, said the company is not treating employees fairly. "I have worked at the same assembly job at Cambridge South for 11 years - that takes a toll," Ostrom said. "I have had two surgeries related to carpel tunnel. After my last surgery, I was hoping I could change my job - or at least have modifications made to prevent the recurrence of my injury. The reality is that it is too difficult to change jobs. That's simply not right - that's not treating valuable team members with fairness and equality. "

"We build excellent cars at Toyota because of our team members. We should have a say in how we work," stressed Schriver.

The results of the vote are expected later in April.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 300,000 workers, including more than 39,000 in the auto industry. Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Autoworkers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.

SOURCE Unifor

For further information:

For more information, contact Sarah Blackstock, Director of Communications, at 416-949-1072. To receive photos or footage from the media conference, please email katie.arnup@unifor.org.