By on March 31, 2014

ToyotaProduction

Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union (formerly known as the CAW), has filed to unionize Toyota plants in Canada. The Financial Post reports that more than 40 percent of Toyota’s 6,500 workers have signed union cards.

According the paper, Unifor president Jerry Dias characterized the move to unionize as an “internal effort”, with employees apparently creating their own union cards and sending them to Unifor.

The FP notes that

“Employees at the Toyota plants have raised concerns about several recent unilateral changes at the plants, including moving new hires to a defined-contribution pension plan and the hours they work. They also have concerns about the company ability to impose other changes, and other health and safety concerns. In order for the certification vote to pass, 50% plus one of the Toyota workers have to vote in favor of unionization.”

According to Dias, the effort to organize has more to do with workers having a say in the management of the plant, rather than compensation or benefits. Dias noted that Unifor would attempt to negotiate a new collective agreement if the effort was successful.

While it would be tough to speculate on the outcome of the vote, Dias has previously stated that he would delay a union vote until he was comfortable that a victory would occur. Previous efforts by the CAW to organize Honda’s plant in Alliston, Ontario, were unsuccessful, with workers repeatedly failing to organize. One Honda insider suggested that a successful campaign could even lead to a shutdown of a given plant, despite the recent investments made by Toyota and the Canadian government.

According to our source, the Japanese take a dim view of any outside forces trying to meddle in the management of their plant – unions included. Unions do exist in Japanese auto plants, but don’t aim to do this, or any other initiative that would be seen as hostile in the context of Japanese labor relations.

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90 Comments on “Canadian Toyota Plants To Hold Union Vote As Early As Next Week...”


  • avatar
    CJinSD

    If these people end up losing their jobs and lifestyles forever, at least they’ll have voted for it.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      +1 Well-said.

    • 0 avatar

      > If these people end up losing their jobs and lifestyles forever, at least they’ll have voted for it.

      I wonder if these anti-collective types also willing vote to open their own jobs to international competition, or they’ve already got theirs under protection of the US anti-immigration services of the past so it doesn’t matter.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        My engineering design job is always under threat of international competition, when 8 engineers in India/Asia can be bought for the price of 1 me, or so I’m told.

        But international labor competition isn’t the issue at Toyota Canada.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          A couple of my oldest personal friends are in exactly the same plight as you. My heart goes out to you.

          It’s a race to the bottom, and in my opinion the only answer to it is… regulation. (Cue the flames.)

          • 0 avatar

            I would say regulation, and tariffs, are needed to stop the race to the bottom. (Cue the flames.)

          • 0 avatar

            > I would say regulation, and tariffs, are needed to stop the race to the bottom

            The former directly affects the latter, that’s simply how the reality works and not up for dispute.

            The only question is whether a race to the bottom is desirable since it’s certainly not against the interests of everyone.

        • 0 avatar

          > My engineering design job is always under threat of international competition, when 8 engineers in India/Asia can be bought for the price of 1 me, or so I’m told.

          Your job is to a significant degree protected by the incompetence of managers ill equipped to deal with talent abroad. The second part of that equation is Uncle Sam preventing those dirty foreigners from coming to the US to physically displace you.

          The white collar equivalent to free trade is open borders. It’s the powder cocaine equivalent to crack far as political protection is involved.

          > But international labor competition isn’t the issue at Toyota Canada.

          It is when the same product Mexicans can make for lower wages freely crosses the border in a way they themselves physically can’t.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            You, you, and your logic and facts!

            Don’t you know the TTAC B&B only know one thing when it comes to unions – hysteria!

            Meanwhile in Japan, lazy, greedy, pension expecting, Toyota union workers make the best cars…oh never mind…

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @u mad scientist
            Many engineering design jobs will be off shored.

            The US will not be able to stop this.

            Within a decade even fast food ‘joints’ will become digital.

            Unionist auto workers must realise their futures jobs will be made redundant.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            @Big Al From Oz

            Disagree on the transformation of low level retail to non-human entities (at least in North America)

            Consumers here still want to deal with humans. The level of distrust of the robot race is unbelievably ironic give Google’s view on privacy, the NSA listening to everyone, and how willing the general population is to give up all their personal secrets to Facebook.

            To put in the words of the CTO of Taco Bell, you have to sell a whole lot of tacos to justify spending $100 on machinery or software.

            The capital cost will be such that it will prevent the investment. Retails in particular have razor thin margins, 2% to 3% net. Any technological investment needs to be amortized in less than 18 months – or the operation is toast.

            Another thing to consider, if I go into Jack In The Box today I can order a Jumbo Jack, no mayo, extra tomato, extra lettuce, add a fried egg on top, and no bun.

            A human can handle all of these tasks – a machine will have to anticipate all of that logic and have the supplies and packaging to put it all together.

            It is one thing to make pre-packaged food on an industrial scale. It’s a whole different issue to do small scale at a local restaurant. Regardless, you don’t negate the need for labor – someone has to maintain, monitor, and supply the machines. This will also require a higher skill set than a high school drop out, which can be easily trained to flip burgers.

            Finally, if the machine needs cleaning, service, or breaks, the whole unit is shut down. There is no redundancy. If a fry cook shows up late, I can call another human to take his place, or flog the humans in place to cover the hole.

            A machine can’t do that.

            Next, machinery and automated systems are more expensive to operate if they don’t run at 100% capacity. This is a key premise of LEAN manufacturing. Fast food restaurants have significant down time through the day.

            The reality, low paid, low skilled workers are still the best answer, and the price of machinery to replace them is going to have to drop significantly.

            I would also suspect consumer backlash, on buying a “fresh” meal, created by robots.

          • 0 avatar
            jhefner

            A local McDonalds in my small town has an “integrated work cell” to handle the drink orders for the drive thru window; I was fascinated by it.

            It would drop the correct size cup onto the conveyor, which moved it down to be filled with crushed ice. It then moved down to be filled with the correct amount of the correct fountain drink. I don’t believe it put the lid on; I think the human did it before removing it from the conveyor.

            I was fascinated to see it there, and to watch it work. But like APaGttH said; if it went down; then the drive thru staff would either have to try to work around it; or run to the dining room to fill the drink orders. It is highly unlikely the employees would be able to fix it; so someone would have to come on site to repair it.

            And drive thru times are a big deal in the fast food industry; any sort of breakdown that could affect services times would be frowned upon.

            Luddite claims of automation putting everyone out of work goes back 200 years. Instead, automation rids us of the boring, dirty, and dangerous jobs while providing highly skilled jobs to those who wish to pursue them.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “Instead, automation rids us of the boring, dirty, and dangerous jobs…”

            But not of the people who used to do them or, more tragically, their offspring.

            Hope the favored, highly-skilled few don’t rebel against the staggering tax burden necessary to keep all of them fed, sheltered and provided with 60″ TVs.

            Short of admitting they’re fit only as feed stock for biofuels, what ideas have you for the expanding mass of unemployables?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @APaGttH
            Retail and even grocery shopping can be done over the net. Even hamburger and fries will be done without humans.

            AI will drive your car and defend your nation, make your hamburgers. It will displace many middle class white and blue collar jobs.

            There will still be employment. But I would seriously look at the security of my job as a career.

            That is only a decade or two away.

            http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/12/robot-hamburger-factory-makes-360.html

            http://wordsbynowak.com/2013/08/27/robot-fries/

            http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-01-12/meet-smart-restaurant-minimum-wage-crushing-burger-flipping-robot

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Here’s one for our TTAC staff.

            http://www.wired.com/2012/04/can-an-algorithm-write-a-better-news-story-than-a-human-reporter/

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Kenmore
            The ‘unemployables’ as you call them will be just that, unemployed.

            We will go through a period of high unemployment, I include the masses of baby boomers amongst this as well.

            What happened to the candlestick makers, farriers, etc from the industrial revolution?

            As we humans create more time away from drudgery we will create a new and alternative existence.

            What, I don’t really know. But I do know there will be people initially needed to maintain and repair these new pieces of equipment………..until they themselves are displaced.

            We have a fascinating future in front of us, a great opportunity.

            But, I think there will sadly always be conflict and war.

          • 0 avatar

            > Hope the favored, highly-skilled few don’t rebel against the staggering tax burden necessary to keep all of them fed, sheltered and provided with 60″ TVs.

            No, the utilitarians will dump those past their useful years first. At least the mediocre are good for something.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Amid the usual orgy of union-bashing, I seem to recall that the only reason these Canadian jobs exist at all is because of flim-flammery by Detroit management.

      When the horrible gas mileage of American car designs prodded the federal government into passing modest CAFE fleet average requirements for gas mileage, a company’s most gas-hogging models didn’t count against their U.S. average if they weren’t made in the U.S. So the companies, needing every break they could get, exported big-car production to Canada and built small cars (sometimes at a loss) in the U.S.

      Ironically, at the same time, the import quotas against the Japanese led them to crush the American makers even faster by incenting THEM to build big cars abroad. Since they could import only X units, the only route to greater profitability overall was to wring more profit out of each Japanese-built unit sold. So they relentlessly pushed upmarket with their Japanese-built models, while maintaining the cheaper models from transplant factories that let them keep the price down by avoiding the yen disadvantage.

  • avatar

    What’s ironic is that the generally better voter-enforced social welfare in Canada alleviates pressures of the proles getting uppity, just like taxes leeched off the rest of the country for the american south.

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      They say you need 10,000 hours of practice to do something well. Trolling is probably no different. So keep at it!

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        +1000

        MSNBC causes mental illness, or at least caters to it.

      • 0 avatar

        > They say you need 10,000 hours of practice to do something well. Trolling is probably no different. So keep at it!

        I’ve expanded on this before:

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/vw-labor-leaders-fight-to-establish-u-s-works-council/#comment-2858953

        If you wish to contradict the facts of the case, feel free to do so. Tax revenue receipts for each state are readily available, though I suspect further substance on your part will not be forthcoming.

        • 0 avatar
          darkwing

          “Substance” being defined as unquestioned acceptance of your incomplete understanding of the numbers, no doubt.

          Look, you can’t have it both ways – troll one minute, then respected philosopher the next. Pick one and stick with it. (Pro tip: you already have.)

          Sounds like u mad bro…

          • 0 avatar

            > “Substance” being defined as unquestioned acceptance of your incomplete understanding of the numbers, no doubt.

            No, substance being defined as being able to use numbers at all.

            > Look, you can’t have it both ways – troll one minute, then respected philosopher the next. Pick one and stick with it. (Pro tip: you already have.)

            Just because u mad since numbers are apparently too hard doesn’t mean I’m trolling.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            It’s just so cute that you think you deserve to be taken seriously. Adorable, really.

            Keep it up. I can’t get enough.

          • 0 avatar

            > It’s just so cute that you think you deserve to be taken seriously. Adorable, really. Keep it up. I can’t get enough.

            This is the typical ilk accusing others of trolling. It’s curious if they actually take themselves seriously.

          • 0 avatar

            ^btw, by “ilk” I mean this first hit on your username on ttac:

            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/president-obama-promises-tougher-truck-mpg-standards-more-renewables/#comment-2729378

            Strident defender of the south no less, LOL.

            It’s perhaps worth pointing that those with the wrong skin tone aren’t the reason that area is so red.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Who is going to pay for social welfare once idiocy drives all the jobs overseas? Do you think that lack of economic activity could become an issue? Do you think legislation creates all the goods and services that you consider to be rights?

      • 0 avatar

        > Who is going to pay for social welfare once idiocy drives all the jobs overseas?

        Those who profited from the lower costs of course.

        > Do you think that lack of economic activity could become an issue?

        Those dirty foreigner are making goods to sell here, thus economic activity is present by definition.

        > Do you think legislation creates all the goods and services that you consider to be rights?

        Legislation creates the framework under which goods are traded under protection of the gubmint. We can dispense with it and see what happens to those with the profits.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “Those who profited from the lower costs of course.”

          Here lies the hypocrisy of this ideology. It’s OK to take resourcees from a minortiy group by force if their ingroup majority feels entitled to it. But it’s not OK for their identified outgroup to earn and keep a profit through voluntary exchange.

          • 0 avatar

            > Here lies the of this ideology. It’s OK to take resourcees from a minortiy group by force if their ingroup majority feels entitled to it. But it’s not OK for their identified outgroup to earn and keep a profit through voluntary exchange.

            No, the failed ethic here is presuming heliocentrism or “force” or such a law from god and blaming men when it appears entirely untrue.

            “Voluntary exchange” simply doesn’t exist without a social contract. The lion doesn’t refer to the legal terms when eying the herd of water buffalo, even if they were signed with some other lion.

            It’s also worth noting that your precious property rights is a morality of those with much property held to the exclusion of others. If you’re evidently capable of reading the New Rand Testament, it’s worth checking out the Old Nietzschian one.

  • avatar
    walleyeman57

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20140331/OEM01/303319989/canada-losing-civil-war-for-auto-jobs#

    …Measuring manufacturing costs across national boundaries can be tricky because some costs are specific to individual locales. One example is compliance with Ontario’s Toxics Reduction Act, which requires a factory to issue an annual report of the toxic substances it uses, creates and releases. But some areas — labor costs, taxes, utility rates, government incentives — are easier to compare.

    Labor costs are a key driver, especially to Mexico. The Center for Automotive Research puts the average Mexican auto worker’s compensation, including wages and benefits, at about $8 per hour, in comparison to about $39 in Canada and $37 for union workers in the United States under the UAW’s two-tier wage system. (All figures are stated in U.S. dollars.) The numbers can fluctuate, however, with fluctuations in the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso.

    Canada’s wage rates used to be comparable to U.S. rates before the introduction of the controversial two-tier wage system in the United States in 2007. Now 40 percent of Chrysler’s U.S. work force earns the lower-tier wage, while all of its Canadian workers are at the full pay scale.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @Walleyeman57.. Nooo, your close, but you missed one thing. We do have “two tiered wages” here. However most of the lower tier are, layed off at this time.

      In Canada our “lower tier” make higher wages than those in the US do. That being said, our lower tier are not considered employees. Their more like contract workers. The Canadian version of “lower tier” have very little lay off, and recall rights, and lower benefits. Than do their American counterparts.

      Lets talk about defined benefit pensions. GM Canada, and GM USA has made it perfectly clear to the UAW/UNIFOR and the former CAW. ” Nobody gets hired with a “defined pension benefit” plan. Nobody!

  • avatar

    > Now 40 percent of Chrysler’s U.S. work force earns the lower-tier wage, while all of its Canadian workers are at the full pay scale.

    Free trade is largely a tool to equalize labor costs, which is obviously a benefit to some interests, but usually not to dummies oblivious to the fact they are those labor costs.

    The most hilarious are the one whose main competitive advantage is some proficiency in the local language similarly oblivious to the fact that foreigners can learn english, too.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    I can’t stand when large groups of working people think they’re entitled for some reason to be well paid for a job any ordinary person could do.

    Don’t they understand that if you’re average, you should live in near-poverty?

    And in an unrelated development, a newly released study by two major universities shows the richest 0.1% of America’s population is now receiving the highest percentage of the nation’s wealth since before the start of the Great Depression.

    • 0 avatar

      Yep, and good for them. I hope they do unionize and gain their say, workers need to be heard. I don’t know about Canada, but in Brazil working for Japanese companies is never a walk in the park. In China, Honda suffered a strike. In India a plant manager was killed during a strike. I wonder if this is a trend as this phrase from the article “the Japanese take a dim view of any outside forces trying to meddle in the management of their plant – unions included” rings true.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @ Marcelo de Vasconcellos… In Canada, Honda has a great reputation, and a wonderfull record, as far as treating the hourly workers with respect, and dignity.

        Toyota?? not so much. As Derek pointed out, the CAW can’t get the Honda workers to budge. The CAW has banged on Honda’s door for years. Meanwhile the Toyota workers, are banging on the unions door?

        What does that tell you?

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @tonycd….You got it dude. And just to expand on your comment. In what decade did Unions get their start?

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Canadian Detroit Three plants are straight-jacketed by union rules and wages. With no prospect of relief from politicians courting the unions they are fleeing to Worker Choice jurisdictions. GM has closed several facilities, the Oshawa GM plant is a shadow of its former greatness. Ford has also closed several factories including the St. Thomas plant. That’s tens of thousands of jobs in the toilet. If this happens Canada will inevitably wave goodbye to Toyota, probably Honda too. It was a great gig while it lasted!

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @ Gardiner Westbound…”straight – jacketed by union rules and wages” With your vast knowledge of this subject, perhaps you could be more specific.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Yet somehow those feckless, bravhearted and salt of the earth UAW brothers and sisters where able to out-wit the suits. Oh the suits had engineering degrees and MBA’s. Why, some even went to Ivy League schools. The suits agreed to the union’s terms each and every time. Should’ve one of the Big 3 looked at UAW president and said “as of midnight, we’re on strike”? We’ll never know. What the management suites at all Big 3 automakers where too dumb to understand was that the Japanese where eating their catered buffet lunches and just kept on keeping on until retirement. Glad I wasn’t a GM lifer sitting on stock options. Lots of blame to go around; neither management or the UAW where complete saints or sinners. Then again most of the union bashers are too dense to an in-depth analysis of the automotive industry’s shortcomings. It’s oh so mentally fat and lazy and requires sub-par intellectual work to go “It’s all the UAW’s fault; all theirs, completely theirs!!!!” May I remind of you of the GM team of engineering excellence that gave us the Vega?

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        The Wagner Act. It gave unions monopoly power. Management had to give in to demands.

        Transplants changed the equation. Americans could buy better cars from non-union workers and they did.

    • 0 avatar
      Atum

      This is why so many factories are locating to this area. Right-to-work laws down here have allowed for people to choose whether they want to fall with the union, or deal with their low wages because they failed high school and went to Chattahoochee Tech. No where else.

      Though Alabama is a laughingstock to us, it’s a great place to put a factory. Near resources, I-20, 85, and 65 nearby, lots of rural, cheap land, putting the wanderers of downtown Montgomery to work. What more would a company want? Honda, Mercedes-Benz, and Hyundai have found the benefits of this poor state.

      • 0 avatar
        silverkris

        Probably an equally bigger factor for Alabama being a magnet for auto manufacturers is the willingness of the state government to bend over and fork out financial incentives to an extreme degree, to the point where it is very costly to the taxpayer. Daimler Benz’s financial sweetners were so great that the Alabama state government had to make cuts in the education budget one year after they gave away bucks to DB.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch

    Mmmmm…good popcorn.

    crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch

    Ford says the UAW saved them during the economic meltdown.

    Toyota plants are voting to unionize in Canada

    UAW membership is up four years in a row.

    I can see some members of the B&B’s heads exploding like in the movie Scanners.

    crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    You read some of the rubbish by the socialist unionist and it’s apparent their view of the world is tainted by misinformation.

    Even the Chinese number of manufacturing workers is 20 million less now then back in 1995. So, are the Chinese taking all of the jobs?

    Within 2 decades many jobs will go, particularly white collar and blue collar. The changes we are confronted with are larger than the changes when the industrial revolution hit at it’s hardest.

    The CAW (UNIFOR) and UAW must gear up for their impending demise along with many of the government workers.

    So many public/civil servant jobs and factory jobs will go to the wayside. If I was young and looking at a career I would look closely at my education and what the future holds.

    A life as a blue collar left wing socialist unionist seems to be a nowhere proposition, a losers choice bound to be dependent on welfare.

    Goodbye to unionism, at least for some decades until we master the digital age equitably.

    http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21594298-effect-todays-technology-tomorrows-jobs-will-be-immenseand-no-country-ready

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-29/the-march-of-robots-into-chinese-factories

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @BOFO….While I don’t 100 percent disagree with you, you might want to think about this. Were slowly coming out of the of the worst economic times since the 30’s. For a whole lot of blue collar folks the recession never ended. This is the fertile ground that unions find their roots. Think of the late 30’s

      On another front. There is very smart guy, with a very powerfull military, looking at Europe with greedy eyes.

      “Those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it”

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @mikey
        Even our Militaries are becoming digital and are reducing in size.

        But how do we measure size? You union guys measure it by human numbers.

        So how real are your numbers? Human numbers is having less to do with capability and productivity as the digital era becomes more and more entrenched into our lives.

        Pilots will be redundant, tank drivers will become redundant. Even in our mines in Australia we have driverless trucks and trains moving ores.

        The next war will be won by the country with the best digital integration. The richest countries in the future will be the ones that adopt digital integration into ALL services and industries.

        Protectionism will place you at the bottom. Look at Poland when Hitler invaded. Many people had jobs, but it wasn’t heavily industrialised. The Germans’ had them for breakfast.

        This holds true for the future, you guys have to accept that jobs will go. This is the only way to not ‘race to the bottom’.

        Protectionism and subsidisation only takes money away for more viable and productive ideas.

        So, I would look at the big picture. Yes, many will not have the ‘good life’ of the past. But resist change and you will be left behind and compete with Chinese or Russian wages. Why?

        Why try and compete with the Chinese? Why not have the Chinese compete more with the US, Canada or Australia.

        Set the benchmarks, not have other’s set the benchmarks.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Our militaries are becoming smaller in size, but a drone is still operated by a pilot in the rear with the gear.

          There is still no replacement for a grunt pounding the ground.

          The technology the grunts use helps displace the sheer ability to fight against numbers. A well equipped and trained soldier from a first world nation is going to have the mission effectiveness of 4, 6, maybe even 10 ill-trained soldiers from a third world Hell hole like North Korea.

          Asymmetrical warfare aside – it is still human beings that make the tactical and strategic decisions under fire, based on training, that no computer can remotely handle.

          Automation of systems has replaced the needs for say weapons loaders and targeting directors on a warship – but you still need humans to maintain the systems and to make the final FoF decisions.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @APaGttH
            So, you only think a pilot is needed to fly an aircraft?

            So, what do you know about drones? What environmental control systems are needed in a drone?

            How much additional maintenance is there in an aircraft to support a pilot?

            With engineering this day and age what restrictions are placed on an aircraft that is piloted by a human, ie, what limitation are there regarding G forces?

            How many drones can be operated by ONE individual? How many drones are able to ‘learn’ and be taught?

            I would read up on what you perceive your knowledge base to be on digital warfare.

            It’s quite an interesting subject.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            BAFO, one of the largest flight training bases for drones is about 30 miles from where I live so I have these damn things flying overhead often, day and night.

            They use three types of drones at this military facility along with fullsize piloted combat aircraft like the F-22, German Tornado and soon, the F16.

            Recently we had an F4 drone, a fullsize manned combat aircraft converted into a drone, crash at the White Sands National Monument. What a mess! Wreckage was strewn over a large area and the monument was closed for cleanup.

            There have been crashes of the two smaller unmanned drones on take-offs and landings but that doesn’t create as much of a mess and the crashes usually happen on take-offs and landings, because flying them is done from a keyboard with a flight computer doing all the piloting.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            “I would read up on what you perceive your knowledge base to be…”

            Hmm.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @HDC
            A Phantom isn’t a drone. Also, look at the age of the airframe.

            Somehow I don’t think aircraft like this will be used in warfare.

            If the US is forced to use airframes from the 60s to fight a digital war, then you have lost the battle, like the Polish.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @darkwing
            Hmmmm?

            Then give us some of your expertise.

            You mightn’t like my view of the world, but the future is already here.

            With a name like ‘darkwings’ I would expect pilots like yourself will be made redundant.

            It’s already occurring.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            @BAFO

            What about a Cylon invasion? Huh? When the Cylons come those old F-4s are going to kick butt my friend!

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            BAFO, it’s a drone and they were used as far back as the 1991 Gulf War against Saddam during an attack aka Pooba’s Party, with great success.

            In peace time these fullsize drones are used for live-fire exercises for combat aircrews and piloted from the ground in evasive maneuvers.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            @Big Al: Actually, I was marveling at how badly you manage to mangle that sentence without need of a thesaurus.

            @high: I know (manned) F-4G Wild Weasels were involved in the Gulf War, but to the best of my knowledge, the QF-4 (or any other aircraft converted to target duty) has never seen combat. If I’m wrong, though, I’d love to find out how they were used.

          • 0 avatar
            el scotto

            Oh, BAFO is great on theory. Ya know reading magazines makes you a true warfighter! “Soldier of Fortune” and “Aviation Week” still sell magazines. Different levels of education for their audiences; same results. There is a great of information out there that won’t and will not be given to the public by the military. Not as bad as fat guys siting at bar claiming they where Special Forces; they’d tell ya more but their record is “classified”. Not as bad as that, but in the same area.

          • 0 avatar

            > Soldier of Fortune” and “Aviation Week” still sell magazines. Different levels of education for their audiences; same results.

            Hard to say whether the B&B became “engineers” before or after reading these and other fine auto rags on the throne.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            darkwing, what I was told by active duty people who were actually in Iraq at the time, on opening night of the war a bunch of unmanned drones were sent across the border into Iraq and were promptly shot down by the Iraqi air defenses.

            This group of drones was called Poobah’s Party and were decoys used to get the Iraqi radars to light up at which time the radar seeking missiles on the attacking manned aircraft behind the drones put them out of commission.

            But the use of drones is nothing new. While I was still on active duty I remember hearing about the Israeli-Syrian air battle over the Bakaa valley which also used drones to lure out the Syrian fighters.

            What set that air battle apart from all previous ones were that the Israelis were using the new AIM-9L supercooled-heatseeker missiles which could actually detect heat through the intake of the Syrian aircraft which allowed for a head-on frontal shot right down the intake.

            Much of this info never makes it to the general public until decades after the fact. To me it is peripheral information whenever I hear or read about something like that.

            The flights of drones over the area where I live is real. There have been numerous times when going to the Commissary on the base I see one in the base-leg traffic pattern waiting for clearance to land on its (dedicated) runway.

            During my last visit to Edwards AFB and China Lake I saw numerous drones being operated simultaneously and those must have been Navy drones because they looked totally different from the ones in use at the airbase near my home.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            @high: Very interesting — I’ll have to keep an eye open for more info about that. Thanks for the heads-up!

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Another notch in the belt, another successful plant unionized. The western world is unionizing under your feet and some of the right-wing B&B are still arguing old spent ideas that have long belonged on the trash heap. The world is changing and the latest economic crash brought the last era of good feelings to a close and showed the world what being a 1%er really meant.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      IF you are correct then Detroit is the future.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        I just want to know how many times does the reality have to be explained to you before you stop using a false narrative to sell your view? Detroit didn’t collapse because of the UAW or public service unions. Detroit was a single-industry town that was incentivized to not reinvest in plants while the city constantly shirked fulfilling the long-term pension funds when the times were good because of poor city management. It had zero to do with unionization and instead to a willingness to be fiscally unsafe. This is currently the issue with almost all right-wing arguments, they want to blame the one thing that works while accepting everything that’s broken.

        • 0 avatar

          > It had zero to do with unionization and instead to a willingness to be fiscally unsafe. This is currently the issue with almost all right-wing arguments, they want to blame the one thing that works while accepting everything that’s broken.

          Shades of the second coming aka Reagan who sold fiscal responsibility while expending every last dollar on weapons not meant to be shot. Mindless followers ready to blame anything but this obvious retardation are strong contenders for its definition in the dictionary.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Well that is the goal of right-wing governments in the US isn’t it? Just keep spending money because nobody wants a real reduction in services but everybody is willing to accept lower taxes (even if the wealthiest of us get most of the benefit). Not to mention the basic underpinnings of what we call ‘welfare’ is being exploited by industries that have figured out how to manipulate public opinion while ignoring economics in relationship to their employment system.

            Our society is about selling BS, not acknowledging hard facts. This is something I actually try to instill in my students, that you can beat your opponents with facts but they’ll never budge. Instead figure out what is best then make an argument that sells on main street.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Xeranar – you are correct that facts don’t work. Logic will never trump the illogical.
            Emotions and primitive reflexes are what drive human beings whether they like to admit it or not.
            We are driven by the emotive survival based part of the brain.
            Interestingly enough, Conservatives often tend to fair better because their doctrine appeals to 5-6 of those primitive emotional survival mechanisms. Liberals on the other had have a harder time because their views tend to appeal to only 2-3 of those “instincts”.

            We do not search for truth, we search for validation of our beliefs.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    We’ve seen the promise of the optimistic card check numbers fizzle out time and time again lately. I’d be surprised if this plant votes in Unifor, these workers aren’t completely ignorant of the world around around them. Threatening to increase the costs in an already uncompetitive business environment won’t bode well for the long term prospects of the plant.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Especially in light of the closing of GM and Chrysler operations in Canada.

      Then again Hostess (US) unions voted to strike despite warnings they would all lose their jobs.

      They did and they did. The price of believing union leaders.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Yes – because the fact Interstate Bakeries was complete run into the ground by tone deaf management that didn’t even make an attempt to change with the times is COMPLETELY the unions fault.

        When management gives themselves massive bonuses as the ship sinks and then tells the employees to take it up the you know what – I don’t blame them for the f you.

        Oh, and who signed the bad union contract in the first place?

        Is Hostess gone – seems the Mexicans own them now and I can still buy Twinkies

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          You beat me to the whole issue with Interstate Bakeries. The popular statement was ‘unions caused their collapse’ even after the books were opened and the reality was found that IB was largely profitable but it was an issue of the management draining the system dry while their poor excuse for ‘baked goods’ were losing favor with a more health conscious society.

          But hey, don’t let a good moral economic theory get in the way of reality…

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Xeranar

            “good moral economic theory”

            Never seen good or moral or economic theory used in the same sentence before.

            I am not worthy ;)

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I agree with this except the part about “who signed the contract”. Does any company (outside of VAG USA) willingly want to sign such a contract? What recourse do they even have? Can they just fire everyone for attempting to unionize and start over?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Management even ran Interstate Bakeries into the ground more than once.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Exactly. And when they restructured they accepted (management) over $600 million in debt out of the gate as part of their first bankruptcy, three years before the liquidation to Bimbo.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Has anyone ever removed the plastic poo accreted to the bottoms of newer car bodies like that red Corolla’s?

    Can it be done without inviting rapid corrosion?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Wow, how long was I out? You go to one baseball game and you come back to find a huge change about to occur in the auto world.

  • avatar
    Atum

    Well, they’re being paid at least eight US dollars or so an hour. For a job in the secondary sector, that isn’t bad.

    Then, with the unions, pay will be raised, and Toyota wouldn’t want to build vehicles in Canada due to costly labor. This will mean Toyota would have to locate to an LDC that pays three US cents an hour in order to afford building RAV4s, Corollas, etc. Simple glimpse of Chapter 11 in the Rubenstein book could tell you that.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Well that goes without saying, I mean we can’t possibly make things in the country where they’re to be sold because that would be inefficient use of labor. As long as the foreign markets are cheaper (especially mexico) and we allow things like NAFTA to continue we’ll continue to impoverish ourselves in the name of keeping Toyota’s stock value up.

  • avatar
    wmba

    I don’t think Toyota is going to give new hires a defined pension plan, as per this post. Quite the opposite.

    According to articles in newspapers other than FP (which I find shallow in general), Toyota Canada hires contract workers, and cherry picks the hard workers as new hires after 2 or even 3 years. Then they get covered by Toyota’s “no layoff” policy.

    Short lead-time shift scheduling, health and safety matters seem to be the issues, not pay and benefits. There are provincial rules on health and safety matters, but with no union and perhaps an overly patrician attitude by Toyota managers, the individual worker has little recourse even if regular “safety meetings” are held as the law requires.

    Toyota hates to have to kowtow to anyone else’s rules. Too bad it cost them $1.2 billion for not getting around to obeying NHTSA regulations, because they felt their own procedures were adequate.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens. WalFart abandoned a store in Quebec when the employees unionized.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @wmba – Toyota may view it as the cost of business and close down to keep its shops union free………

      and Marchionne walks away from Government money to keep Chrysler plants open without strings attached……..

      and Rob Ford is popular why?

      Ontario is in trouble.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @ Lou_BC …Ontario is in trouble? You might say that. We have an unelected premier, leading the most corrupt government in history. Were in worse financial shape than Califonia.

        Were it the USA? Our former premier would be in prison. Instead he is teaching at Harvard?

        Our biggest city has a powerless drunk/drug addict, as mayor. The scary part? Ford has no real opposition. The provincial conservitive leader,can’t do up his own shoes.

        GM may pack up and leave, Chrysler isn’t far behind.

        Toyota goes union? it aint goimg to make a whole lot of difference here.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @mikey – I agree that if Toyota goes union it will not affect ontario at all but if Toyota shutters the plant to keep UNIFOR out, that would be bad news.

          I doubt that Toyota would do that.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    http://www.autoblog.com/2014/04/01/senator-linked-to-uaw-chattanooga-vote-tax-offer/

  • avatar
    stanczyk

    ‘I would also suspect consumer backlash, on buying a “fresh” meal, created by robots.’ – I think you don’t realize how big money can trick consumer into this , and how stupid, ignorant(or brainwashed..) consumer can be(..or may become..)..

    Corporation(as a whole) acts like ‘sociopath’..
    Uninos were created a long time ago to protect people from..suits(they are dangerous but irrelevant(after all) – yeah, they have NBA’s and MBA’s:), but they are just short-sihghted, career-driven, brainwashed tools) and the ‘real OWNers’[watch: George Carlin - Owners]:)

    Who want to go back to XIX century wild-capitalismus ? .. we’ve got global-rat-race right now.. and this trend is growing and speeding up ..


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