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Two former hourly Toyota employees are denying that they leaked a potentially embarrassing memo pertaining to wages at Toyota's US plants. The document, which came from Seiichi Sudo, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc, states that wages are growing faster than Toyota's US profits.

The former Georgetown plant workers, Noel Riddell and Manuel Eade, were fired on February 8 after being accused of circulating the memo. The two workers were suspected, in part because they had shown the memo to management, and both admit to being union supporters. The workers were asked to resign from Toyota, but both refused, instead opting for a peer review of their case. They say that their peers found them to be innocent, but management overruled and fired them anyway. The memo is now being used as a rallying cry for the UAW, which has been hurt by years of declining membership. The memo, which was dated 2006, calls for $300 million in wage cuts in fiscal year 2011, and UAW officials (and most likely some of Toyota's hourly workers) think that means there will be more temporary workers in Toyota's plants, and less full-time hourly workers making $25 per hour.

The UAW has long wanted to unionize non-domestic plants, but to this point there has been little luck. We don't know if this memo will help unionize any Toyota plants, but it will be interesting to see if Toyota continues to expand plants in the US if a worker's union comes as part of the package.

[Source: Automotive News (Sub. Req'd)]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago

      mbf, What have you to back that 100% claim? My neighbor is the general manager at a toy dealer and I asked him to research this and his reply was "Better than 80% of all steel used in the production of Toyoda is imported from Japan from Toyoda steel production facilities". He has made many trips to toyoda assembly plants so if anyone should know, it's he.
      He concured on the stampling plant, however, they are still called assembly plants.
      As for the plant in California, it's jointly owned by Toyoda and GM..
      So, maybe you're the one that ought to get his head out. Oh, and after you do get it out, clear your throat.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Would Toyota close a plant because its employees certified a bargaining agent? Probably not straight away but that first collective agreement could cause some interesting effects at other auto plants in the Southern, "right to work" states.

      But we're getting ahead of ourselves here as a unionized Toyota plant would still be a long way off - it frankly puzzles me that this story even merits being reported.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow what a complete beat up!
      The news article reeks on a UAW scare campaign to try to unionise the Toyota Plants.
      Firstly a couple of Global facts. Toyota has unionised workforces else where in the world (eg Australia, where worker are Paid more than their GM & Ford equivalents). I also thought NUMMI plant was unionised (The GM/Toyota Plant)and has no plan to close.
      IMHO what you have in the USA, is a Union (UAW) that has contributed to the decline of the Big 3 (Yes, Poor Design & Products are also a contributing factors). But a "good" Union should know that a healthy, profitable company is good for their members. Its seems to me that UAW has failed in its role of providing support for its members and not adapted to a Global market & Economy.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Unions, the guys that gave us weekends.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Am I missing something here? The only reason Toyoda and it's asian bretheren began assembling cars here is to avoid the tarrifs the US threatened to impose on Japan for unfair trade practices including "dumping". If you youngsters don't know what that was all about, you'd better study harder in economic history. So if anyone wants to think Toyoda came here out of the goodness of their hearts and wanted to see Americans improve their way of life, well, you're hopeless.
      To the dingbat that claims Toyoda's built here use mostly domestic parts, see webster's for Naive.
      US assembled camry 40-46% domestic, remainder supplied by Japan, Formosa, and Taiwan.
      1 of every 4 camrys built in Japan with NO content used from the US. No US steel is used in the production of any Toyoda's.
      Name a foundry or stamping plant in the US that is owned by Toyota.

      You can dis the unions all you like, but in the long run, companys like Toyoda are the ones that will force a reimergence of union labor.

      Does someone have any knowledge as to the full package Toyoda offers to employees ie. health and pension packages, or job security?

      • 8 Years Ago
      This is how peer review works: Your case goes before a panel of 3 team members (co-workers) and 2 members of management and if you choose this route, you accept their decision. Bottom line: the 2 managers will vote against you, so you need to win the votes of all 3 team members. But with no collective agreement, they don't HAVE to follow this .
      • 8 Years Ago
      "A union compensation package like that for a guy that screws in headlights all day is LEGAL EXTORTION."

      Though I have never worked for a union ever I would say by looking at all the people online on forums all day that MOST wouldn't have the discipline to work on an assembly line. And I'd further say that it is nice to have a little more compensation for having to here their fellow Americans PISS on them day after day after day on all the forums and other types of media.

      Yep, I'd love to see most office workers not be able to just email on a minutes notice they are going to be out for the day (because of this or that). Um, not do personal phone calls all day and not surf (it'd be hard to do that on an assembly line). Hear how bad their works is from a bunch of ace holes all the time (like this forum).

      Um, $25 is nothing for such things. Have 99% of office workers who mouth off about the rate try it for a month. They'll go cry to their F'ing spouse at the end of every day.

      To bad most of you commenting on here aren't employed by Circuit City. That would be a match made in heaven if you ask me.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Nice move. Toyota should articulate more clearly that the jobs will be moved to Mexico if any of the union workers should show up for work at any of its plants.

      5,000 application in a week span for 4 Toyota jobs illustrates the position of this automaker: somehow hordes of people want to become those poor disadvantaged Toyota employees.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think these workers are forgetting that they live in small, isolated towns where the average wage is probably $10-15 per hour. Toyota, Honda, etc comes in and offers 2-3x plus OT and they complain. Most college grads dont even make that much, but yeah... they deserve it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Lithous- you're about the last one who should go after someone else's English skills. If you like, I can refer you to some home study courses for young adults. I won't go through and "grade" your work. Not necessary.
      As for fair wages... Unskilled labor making 60k a year plus benefits is a lot of money. I don't care what the outside circumstances are. Some few and select jobs are "skilled labor" positions, but a modern auto plant is designed to need almost none of them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Tai, are you kidding me? What country are you from?

      On a level playing field no one can beat the US worker.

      LEVEL- meaning you can't pay them 50 cents and hour, you can't give them inferior facilities.

      The myth of the fat lazy American is just a propaganda tool used by other countries.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Though I have never worked for a union ever I would say by looking at all the people online on forums all day that MOST wouldn't have the discipline to work on an assembly line."

      Griping about people posting on forums during work... while posting on a blog during work hours seems self-defeating, doesn't it?

      The two workers claim that the peers had their support and management "overruled" (in spite of the fact that management was part of the peer review process). In addition, that's their side of the story, and unless we hear Toyota's side it's impossible to understand the whole picture.

      There's a surplus of workers in many areas, and I doubt Toyota will be hurting for willing workers, even in spite of potential pay cuts to hourly employees.

      Decrying the morality of UAW-less Toyota while supporting "US" carmakers moving work to Mexico for cheap employment is laughable. UAW is an ungainly dinosaur that shot itself in the foot one too many times. The fact that it's on the decline is good news.
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