Auto industry vital to Waterloo Region

TORONTO, July 25, 2016 /CNW/ - The auto industry is vital to Canada's economic wellbeing, and the Waterloo Region's in particular, employing 125,400 people across Canada, including more than 12,000 in Waterloo Region alone, while contributing millions to taxes and local charities, new research from Unifor shows.

"The auto industry is important to the Canadian economy generally, and absolutely vital in the communities where assembly and parts plants are located," Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

In 2015, 12,500 people are employed directly in the auto industry. Most work at the area's Toyota plants in Cambridge, where they produce the Corolla and Lexus RX.

In all, a total of 348,412 vehicles were produced in the Waterloo Region  in 2015 (or 955 per day), for a total of $9.7 billion worth of vehicles and parts for the year, or $27 million per day.

Across Canada, 125,400 people are employed directly in the auto industry, producing 2,268,996 cars and light trucks (or 6,216 per day) worth $93.5 billion in 2015, (or $256 million per day).

"That kind of output of manufacturing goods, and the good jobs that come with it, is not easily replaced," Dias said. "That's why we have made securing new investment the number one priority for this year's auto talks."

Negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers begin August 10 and 11 in Toronto. Unifor has made new investment in Canada, including new product allocations, the top priority of the talks.

Besides the production and economic output, Dias pointed to the taxes paid and charitable giving of autoworkers, and their importance to the communities in which they live.

In the Waterloo Region, auto workers contributed $192 million in income, payroll and sales taxes (or $527,000 per day). Across Canada, auto workers contributed $1.9 billion in income, payroll and sales taxes (or $5.2 million per day).

"That money goes to support services that we all depend upon, such as health care, education and social services – the sorts of things that make Canada such a great place to live," Dias said, adding that auto workers are also active in their communities, volunteering their time and donating to charity. 

To review Unifor's research reports and for other background materials prepared for this year's round of auto talks, go to

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including more than 40,000 in the auto industry, including 23,000 employed by the Detroit Three. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.


For further information: Unifor Communications Director Denise Hammond at or (cell) 416-707-5794

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