Toyota may be heading toward some labor issues in the Great White North, as employees at a pair of Canadian Toyota factories may be set for a certification vote. The Unifor union, which was the result of a merger last year between the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union, will be holding the vote.

Over 40 percent of the employees at the Woodstock and Cambridge, Ontario factories have signed union cards, cresting the minimum percentage required to instigate a legal certification vote, according to Reuters. The Woodstock factory is responsible for RAV4 production, while Cambridge builds the Lexus RX350 and RX450h, as well as the Toyota Corolla. The two factories employ nearly 7,000 people.

It's unclear when the union will hold a certification vote at the two factories, but what is rather clear are the worker complaints. Employees are concerned about workers being hired on temporary contracts which lack the benefits of full employment, John Aman, head of organizing for Unifor, told Reuters.

Toyota countered that argument. "First, people are hired on contract basis and only when we can make a long-term commitment to them, in terms of their employment security, do we transition them into permanent status," spokesman Greig Mordue said. "Over the past 12 months or so we've hired 1,000 new team members and we've also made 900 contracts permanent."


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  • 65 Comments
      • 11 Months Ago
      [blocked]
      Justin
      • 11 Months Ago
      It's telling that whenever Autoblog writes about "the unions" they frame it as a "problem" or an "issue." Blatant bias.
        pjtocci
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Justin
        Because it is a problem.
        nocommie11
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Justin
        It is a huge problem, today formation of union in a non-union shop is an express lane into failure for a company and quick move to a right to work area.
      LXbuilder
      • 11 Months Ago
      Love the under paid losers on here that believe the working class stiff shouldn't make money, but the CEO's should continue to make more and more. Such backwards serfdom thinking from the undereducated working man. Henry Ford paid $5 a day about 100yrs ago, that's just a couple thousand a year less than the starting wage in UAW plants today. But Henry dropped the 9 hr day to 8hrs, and today many plants run 10hr shifts. We are marching backwards at an incredible pace.
        zedf150
        • 11 Months Ago
        @LXbuilder
        Yes, the union brothers must keep marching forward! Sieg heil! Sieg heil! Sieg heil!
        richard
        • 11 Months Ago
        @LXbuilder
        Yeah, its quite amazing to see how many blue collar workers believe Republican BS about how lower wages will help them. The Republican dream- - factory workers paid Chinese wages.
          Cool Disco Dan
          • 11 Months Ago
          @richard
          Despite your lies about what the message is or what wages would be you show a clear lack of understand for how markets and inflation work. Your ignorance and deceit is willful.
          Daniel D
          • 11 Months Ago
          @richard
          Dont forget that public healthcare - something every other first world nation has, is somehow inherently evil. Can't have people feeling well, when that money could be used to run an aircraft carrier around in circles for three months.or give tax breaks to the rich.
        bobbylightbryant
        • 11 Months Ago
        @LXbuilder
        Grow up! Move out of you mom's basement and assert yourself and work your butt off and make right decisions and you can be a CEO too. Then, if you want to give your income to the people screwing on lug nuts for $50.00 because they deserve it you feel free to do it! Your just jealous of wealth you don't have!
      richard
      • 11 Months Ago
      It would be good to see the workers organize. With all the vehicles they sell in North America, it`s about time for Toyota to start paying union wages and benefits.
        Cool Disco Dan
        • 11 Months Ago
        @richard
        So because they sell cars they should overpay their workers?
          Cool Disco Dan
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Cool Disco Dan
          Yes I worked in one for a year. Everything was hydraulically or pneumatically assisted. It was one of the easiest job I ever had and I made about 3 times what the actual value of my work was worth. You make it sound like its hard work when it isn't. The janitor has a more complex job then a line worker whos job is to screw in a few bolts on each car before the next guy screws in a few bolts. Just look at the guy who puts a tire on. He uses an assisted arm that lifts the tire for him and a another machine that runs each lug nut on the thing at the same time to the specs needed. There is no critical thinking involved.
          zedf150
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Cool Disco Dan
          You're always good, hard working and underpaid, right??? If that's true, unions shouldn't be relevant to you anymore. If a company does not pay good workers enough money, losing good workers will be the penalty. Good workers are resourceful. If you feel you're not being paid enough, you can either work harder to make more or find a job that pays more. That's how I worked my way up in life. That's how it's been done time and time again by many, MANY people. That's what makes an economy stronger. There is no money tree that hangs over the self-proclaimed. Resourcefulness is not just expecting more pay because you think you're so wonderful. Unions want to sound relevant, but they're not relevant to good workers. Unions thugs don't believe in good workers and maximum productivity, they just believe in maximum pay and minimal effort. If you believe their lies about relevancy, if they're getting more pay, productivity is not important to them.
          jlauth
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Cool Disco Dan
          You do realize that not all factory jobs are assembly. Operators in production departments have a ton of responsibility and their eye and experience protects the customer. That is why they deserve to make the good wage that they do. I have met some lazy UAW workers, but for every one that is lazy there are two that work harder and care more than most white collar professionals I have met. Chrysler Engineer
      Car Guy
      • 11 Months Ago
      Unions have no place in 2014. I understood the need 80-100 years ago when the workplace was genunily dangerous. Today you have the OHSA, EEOC, and the general threat of lawsuits that keep things safe. Today's union is all about protecting drunks and idiots who deserve to be fired (ie Chrysler workers drinking 40s and smoking weed at lunch).
        2011 Sportsman
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Car Guy
        The Canadian provincial and federal laws, provincial worksafe orginizations are nothing but a farce and there to benefit the employer and not the employee... My father has worked in a unionized place for 39 years and without the union there, they would be treated like slaves making little money with no benefits . You have to fight tooth and nail to get anything from the company on a daily basis...
          2011 Sportsman
          • 11 Months Ago
          @2011 Sportsman
          He stayed because the Union fought for better wages, good benefits and safety of the plant among many other things... Without the Union they would have nothing. Everyone believes all these corporations are out to help the middle class, If it wasn't for Union even today people would have nothing. The corporations and the Govt are not out to help you or me, out to help themselves and that's it
      iuoe66mj
      • 11 Months Ago
      Yeah, it would be horrible for the workers to unionize and get better pay and benefits, I'd rather the millions of dollars in profits Toyota makes go the executives to make them richer and let the workers who build the product struggle, we don't need a middle class I'd prefer a 2 class system, rich and poor.
        Daniel D
        • 11 Months Ago
        @iuoe66mj
        Ironically for a country that was founded on not wanting the class system, the US has managed to implement it anyway.There is the rich and then there is everyone else at the bottom. Mother England would be proud.
          Len_A
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Daniel D
          Very damn true.
          A P
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Daniel D
          Take your bleeding heart crap somwhere else. I bet you think somebody flipping hamburgers are worth $15 an hour also. The people are equal but not every job is worth the same. You are just another leftist moron preaching the politics of want. Ever think that the rich guy you hate might have worked his ass off to get what he has? Of course you dont because you are too busy preaching class warfare.
      Pj Taintz
      • 11 Months Ago
      2 words **** off sincerely, non union auto workers
      mahalo5000
      • 11 Months Ago
      I'm surprised by the venom towards unions on this site. Unions can take their share of the blame, but do you think they should bear all of it. I'm a former senior VP from the corporate world and I've seen lots of mistakes....and lots of greed.....from that side of the fence. I want unions to be realistic with the pressures that any company faces......but I also want them to earn good, middle class incomes. Having a few fatcats and lots of poverty at the bottom does not make for a good future.
        CoolWaters
        • 11 Months Ago
        @mahalo5000
        The right wing nut is the laziest slug out there and believes all the bullish*t that's pumped down their throats. They never look anything up, they always "know" they're right with no proof. This is why Republicans are idiots at government.
        A P
        • 11 Months Ago
        @mahalo5000
        I will respond. Unions should and will bare most of the blame because their leaders are greedy thugs that extort companies. Notice that non union car planst pay their workers quite well WITHOUT the UAW stealing money out of the workers paychecks and putting it into the pockets of the DNC. Unions are stinking piles of steaming evil.
          Len_A
          • 11 Months Ago
          @A P
          Only reason the transplants pay as well as they, is to try keep the unions out. That said, increased reports of repetitive motion injury, problems with temps being "temporary" for years on end, questions about year end performance bonuses, etc., are starting to put pressure on the transplants. We'll see what happens when the union issue gets resolved at VW, in Tennessee.
      Street King
      • 11 Months Ago
      Great time to organize! When Canada is currently the most expensive place to build a car! Great job CAW (or whatever your name is). Idiots. Toyota is just going to pack up and leave.
      churchmotor
      • 11 Months Ago
      Toyota, time for you to pickup and move to Mexico to get away from the company killing unions.
        CoolWaters
        • 11 Months Ago
        @churchmotor
        Mexico, one step up from China, you must own GM stock.
      brandon
      • 11 Months Ago
      RIP Toyota, you used to be a good company.
      2011 Sportsman
      • 11 Months Ago
      Everyone seems to let GM, Ford and Chrysler off the hook though and put all the blame on the Unions for their mis fortune and tend to forget they built terrible vehicle for decades not all were bad but many were and gave the CAW/UAW everything they wanted and the status quo at the top stayed for years and in the end, the Union got the blame for the management being terrible at what they did
        A P
        • 11 Months Ago
        @2011 Sportsman
        But when the care companies demanded better quality work from the unions, they pushed back and so the car companies used automation and reduced workers. Unions are pure searing evil.
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