Honda of Canada Manufacturing in Alliston, Ontario, is unique in providing an employee recreation center with an NHL regulation-size hockey arena. But it could soon have another claim to notoriety: The first Japanese auto plant to go union.

According to Ward's Auto, Canadian Auto Workers President Ken Lewenza is bullish on efforts to organize the facility, which builds Honda Civic and CR-V, as well as the Acura MDX and ZDX. "We're getting some enthusiastic and strong support," he told Ward's, "but we're not there yet."

Both the CAW and the United Auto Workers have been trying for decades to organize at one of the Japanese transplant factories, but have met resistance, both from employees as well as the automakers. Lewenza says Honda has devoted "resources and time into keeping the union out," according to the report, including giving employees a handout that the CAW feels misrepresents Honda's wages when compared to unionized Chrysler, Ford and General Motors plants in Canada.

The report says labor talks between the CAW and the Big Three scheduled for September will be crucial for the union, given the resurgent strength of the Canadian dollar. Canada's labor costs are viewed as too high by the automakers, setting the stage for potential conflicts at the bargaining table. Of course, if the CAW could add to its 25,000 member base with Honda's roughly 4,500 Canadian workers, it could only help the union's negotiations.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 50 Comments
      gtc360
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good, let them unionize and try to get more wages and benefits. Then watch them cry when Honda pulls out of Canada.
      th0mb0ne
      • 2 Years Ago
      CAW motto - If it ain't broke, break it.
      Car Guy
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've worked in a UAW and non-UAW shop. At the end of the day, the UAW methods promote waste and inefficiency. I can't tell you the countless number of situations where time was wasted because someone of the right "classification" was not available to do the job. All those delays add up into serious lost time. Unions had their place 70-80 years ago when there were serious safety issues in the workplace. Nowadays, you have OSHA, EEOC, and just the general threat of litigation that keeps safety much higher. The modern union is all about greed and entitlement, and I cannot see it improving a workplace in any way whatsoever. And there is all the BS politics that go along inside unions -- protecting the lazy and incompetent from being fired. Those people being targeted by the union should run for the hills and vote no if they are smart.
        Car Guy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Car Guy
        No jackass.......it won't happen so stop bring politics here. Go somewhere else for that....
          Bill Martin
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Car Guy
          It has everything to do with politics. Jackass
      nsxrules
      • 2 Years Ago
      If this happens Honda should shut down the facility and build a plant in a Right to Work state in the US. Would help them and our economy.
        MAX
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nsxrules
        "Right to work for less wages and benefits". Why don't the rightwingers just say non-union? Maybe Canadians won't buy so many non union cars, they do seem smarter than Americans. Even Taiwan copied their healthcare system.
          nsxrules
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MAX
          Actually union bosses try to keep the best employees from earning as much as they should: http://washingtonexaminer.com/why-unions-dont-want-workers-to-earn-more/article/2500678 During the recent debate on the farm bill, the Senate voted down an amendment that would allow unionized employers to give workers raises based on merit. Despite the potential benefits to union members, unions have put up fierce resistance to the proposal. Teamsters President James Hoffa railed against the bill in a recent letter to senators, in which he advised them to "oppose the RAISE Act (S. 3221)
          Dr. Claw
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MAX
          @nsxrules: Find a source other than the Washington Examiner for that "analysis".
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nsxrules
        It isn't that simple, though.
      James Scott
      • 2 Years Ago
      From my experience being a Temp+Painter waaaaaaay back when I was doing work between semesters in college at a tool/die factory and there's 2 classes of factory. World class and Union. For example we had out sourced two sets of parts for a machine we were working on, both were identical. The non union parts were flawless and amazing, the union parts looked like half assed patch jobs. Its like the union shops don't have any incentive to do exceptional work so they do *JUST* enough to get it done even if it's not any good. Being a temp I didn't give a **** about consequences of being outspoken so I asked the company owner what his thoughts were about the two parts. He played the political card while making the "Unions suck ass" face. Just to describe the biggest differences between the two sets of parts, there was a very large ventilation duct on both of them that was too large to be made out of a single piece of tube so they were put together in segments. The non-union pipe looked like a single pipe unless you looked inside and saw the welded segments, the union pipe didn't have a single piece of plate properly aligned and the welds were crap because of it, also the non-union segment came in a week early and the union segment came in a day late. What also astounded me about it was the union slathered "Union Made" stickers all over their parts as if they were proud about the quality. If they knew how terrible it was when compared I think they should have been more ashamed and hidden the fact.
      Craig
      • 2 Years Ago
      PLEASE Honda employees - don't be lured in by some fast -talking union rep who will say anything at all to appeal to your ego. They don't care about YOU. They care about themselves. Tell them to go to hell.
      Harold O
      • 2 Years Ago
      I just saw some interesting statistics . Growth rate ; Union states - 1.5% Non-union states - 6% If Honda goes union maybe the union will strangle it as they did in PA years ago with VW ! Lots of luck ! Jablonski and Hoffa moving north.
        Pinhead
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Harold O
        Growth rate of what? And, probably the union states had a higher standard of living to begin with. Just sayin'
      Klinkster
      • 2 Years Ago
      Typical CAW. Destroy, destroy, destroy. Now that their hard-line approach with GM resulted in the Oshawa plant closure and thousands of Ontario job losses, they now move on to the next Ontario company to destroy. Because of Canada's high currency valuation, it is now THE most expensive place to manufacture vehicles in the world. With CAW certification in Alliston, Ontario you can bet Honda will shift more production to Mexico. They did it with Japan, so the precedent is set. Honda employees know this - so this union drive is busted before it begins. This is just a make-work project to justify CAW executive jobs. Lazy bags of $heit...
        Gorgenapper
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Klinkster
        Should have known that it was the CAW that caused us loss of the Oshawa plant. Thanks, CAW. Really.
      Danny Vasquez
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good for them. Why should we be the only ones with unemployed auto workers. Can someone answer a question for me: If Honda is taking care of their employees then why do they need a union?
        MAX
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Danny Vasquez
        Honda only takes care of it's workers because of the threat of unionization. Kind of how the Communist Chinese are reforming because of the threat of democracy or America finally passed civil rights for African Americans because of the threat of blacks going communist. Do you think if unions go away, workers or even the rest of the middleclass will get a better shake? If you do, you're a fool. The day unions go away, wages and benefits will will also go away. Germany is the most unionized nation on earth the world's most successful exporter. The problem in America is a terrible management class that can only manage monopolies or Wall Street scams.
          nsxrules
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MAX
          So much stupid in this post......
          Richard
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MAX
          I love how lefties bring up the Germany example in a vacuum. Yes, German workers are unionized and highly paid, because they have this massive export market called America that eats up whatever the Germans market. For example, the BMW 528i - yes it's a lovely car but at the end of the day it's a $65000 4 cylinder vehicle. Just who exactly is going to pay $65000 for a rear wheel drive Chrysler 200 with 4 cylinders?
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MAX
          >America finally passed civil rights for African Americans because of the threat of blacks going communist. What the **** are you talking about?
      Super D Spamalot
      • 2 Years Ago
      Unions are wonderful things. The CAW/UAW on the other hand are a cancerous blight on the middle class landscape. From most accounts, Honda treats it's workers just fine and thus doesn't need a union. They certainly don't need the CAW driving them bankrupt like they did with the big 3. Good on Honda for doing the right thing without a union. Funny how it takes a foreign company to treat domestic workers properly, yeah? Guess when you have someone who doesn't worship profit over all else making the decisions things tend to work out. CAW? Go to hell. Seriously. We don't want you or need you. Stop giving unions a bad name and maybe we'll start to gain back some of the progress you and organizations like CUPE have lost us over the last 30 years.
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      If they're met with resistance from the employees, you'd think that would have said something.
      IOMTT
      • 2 Years Ago
      In a related story, Honda expands capacity at US plants.
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