KITCHENER, ON, April 3, 2014 /CNW/ - Today Unifor announced it will
escalate its campaign to unionize Toyota.
Unifor announced that while it is withdrawing its Labour Board
application to become the bargaining agent for team members at Toyota
Motor Manufacturing Canada, the labour union remains committed to
working with Toyota team members to form a union and improve working
conditions at the company.
Yesterday Toyota provided its employee list to Unifor and the Ontario
Labour Relations Board, indicating that the company has approximately
7,500 employees it believes are eligible to be part of the bargaining
"That is an interesting number because Toyota's production decreased 3%
in 2013 and is forecast to have lower volumes in 2014," said Jerry
Dias, Unifor National President. "We would be surprised if under such
circumstances Toyota had hired upwards of 1000 people. If Toyota is
hiring, that's wonderful. But it would be unusual - so we are going to
look at that list carefully."
"Regardless, now we have the number to work from," said Dias, stressing
that Unifor had based its estimation of 6,590 employees on public
statements and filings made by the company. "We had a tough choice to
make," Dias explained. "We can engage in a lengthy legal battle about
the employee list - or we can build on the momentum we have and get
more cards signed. We've chosen the latter."
Instead of going to a vote next week, Unifor said it will taking the
time to get more cards signed so there is no dispute over the numbers
and the union can move forward successfully.
"We started this week with great excitement," said Carrie Ann Ostrom, a
Toyota team member of 11 years in Cambridge. "Today I'm just as
determined to bring a union to Toyota. There's no doubt this is a
stumbling block, but I'm far from giving up hope. There are still
thousands of team members counting on us. We will redouble our efforts
to build greater support in all three facilities." Ostrom spoke at the
press conference on March 31 announcing the certification application.
"Over 3,000 of us have signed cards at Toyota to join Unifor," said Ken
Cleveland, a 17 year Toyota veteran in Cambridge. "This is a clear sign
that people want a union and even this week, more cards were coming in.
The problems facing Toyota team members have not been addressed. With
an extra push, I know we'll be able to succeed."
The union has committed to redoubling its efforts at Toyota and will
continue the campaign to form a union with Toyota team members.
For further information:
contact Unifor Communications Staff Representative Shannon Devine at Shannon.Devine@Unifor.org or (cell) 416-302-1699 or visit: www.unifortoyota.ca