By on July 14, 2014


Canadian Toyota plant may be the next facilities to get a “voluntary” local, similar to what the UAW is proposing for Volkswagen’s Chattanooga factory.

According to the Windsor Star

Unifor president Jerry Dias said Friday the union may follow the lead of its American counterpart and establish a local for Toyota workers in Cambridge and Woodstock.

“It’s a good idea; it’s something we may very well do,” Dias said of the United Auto Workers’ decision to form a new local to be run by hourly workers employed at the Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Unifor made a big push to organize the two plants in Ontario, but their plans were disrupted after Unifor put the certification vote on hold due to an alleged discrepancy in the overall number of employees at the two plants, which had the potential to dilute the percentage of pro-union employees.


Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

29 Comments on “Unifor May Follow UAW’s Lead And Set Up “Voluntary” Local For Toyota...”

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    I’m surprised they didn’t come up with this strategy decades ago.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m sure they considered it in the past but it may have been too obvious and too desperate back then, at a time when unions were still popular.

      Now it is a different story. Now the union is seeking redemption from the members that they collectively bargained out of their jobs, and the whose employers they drove into the the financial grave.

      But it’s all about the money, the dues. However many ways the union can find to part the workers with their money, that’s a good way to go.

      • 0 avatar

        Mr. Desert You mention the,” union is seeking redemption from the members that they collectively bargained out of their jobs, and whose employers they drove into the financial grave.” Any words of wisdom of concerning profitable companies firing their US workers, so they could manufacture the same product overseas for a fraction of the US wages. But I don’t think you ever had to worry about that. Aren’t you retired military?

        • 0 avatar

          challenger2012, Yes I am retired military, but what I get for my 20 years of military service doesn’t buy me a pot to piss in.

          I am also self-employed, and make a lot more money doing my thing every month than my military retirement pay, my VA disability AND my social security retirement combined.

          So, let’s not forget my social security retirement! Another “benefit” I paid for for twenty years that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

          And there is my VA disability, which is 20% of my military retirement pay deducted from my military retirement pay for a gain of zero, nil, nada.

          Between you me and the wall here, I don’t know how other Americans in the same boat as I can live on the amount I receive, if they don’t find another means of income or hold down another job.

          Ah, but I did grow up in a union household. My mom and dad both belonged to a union for many years before being able to break free and make real money.

          • 0 avatar

            Retirement after 20 years. So tax payers will, for the next 40 years, pay for your life style. How many people get this? And you begrudge workers joining a union to have a pension and medical coverage that you now possess? Feeling a little uncomfortable Mr. Dessert justifying what you have vs. the vast majority of Americans who do not?

            Both your parents were union workers. I bet when growing up, you were well fed and had decent medical coverage, maybe not as good as the government run health care in the military, but good just the same.

            The reason I am getting on to you is because you remind me of Romney’s 47% comment. When the money goes into your pocket, any justification is sufficient, but when it goes to someone else, they are the takers. And when others want similar benefits as you, then they are socialists, union thugs, takers, lazy etc.

            For someone who is so pro-capitalism, you sure seem to be so socialist when it comes to your money. By the way, I dad was in WWII. He was in the tail end of the Italian campaign. His older brother, by 2 years, was injured and disabled at about D-Day plus 30, in France.

          • 0 avatar

            I’ve tried this before with HDC; using logic never works and facts are meaningless.

            It’s like you are trying to talk to an angry old man who thinks that everything has gone bad. The economy is in the tank, illegal immigrants are stealing everyone’s jobs, unions are corrupt, everyone is stealing from him. Ever since that black guy got into office (not that he’s a racist or anything!).

            But thank God, he pulled himself up from the bootstraps to get where he is, without ever getting help from the government.

            Also, get off his lawn.

          • 0 avatar

            Extreme, dogmatic dialect from both the left & right sides of the Panem et Circenses MSM (all of it owned by 6 corporation, btw, whether print, broadcast, cable, network, film, etc.) is doing its part to destroy logical dialogue in ‘Murica.

            Sean Hannibal on Faux & Rachel Madcow on MSNBS are inciting team right & team left like good media sock puppets.

            “Clowns to left of me
            Jokers to the right
            Here I am, stuck in the middle with you”

          • 0 avatar

            “They collectively bargained out of jobs”

            Not really, HDC. True the UAW and the CAW did lose thousands of members.

            Place the blame squarely where it belongs. The phenomenal incompetence, of the bloated layers of management,at the former “big three”

            Has the news from the last few months,not made it abundantly clear?
            I was a member of both the CAW and the UAW. I don’t remember giving a green light to those ignition switches. No Union members were involved in the cover up. Nobody at my level thought it was a good idea to “tart up” an Impala and call it a “Sedan De Ville”

            GM made a Zillion dollars selling Tahoes Silverado’s and every other configuration of truck, you can think of.

            What did they do with the profits? Maybe they should of spent some of the money on R&D for smaller cars? No! they shoved it into bonuses, and bloated executive pay packages. Did anyone ask the UAW for their input? No way.

            So the UAW/CAW did exatley what their mandate specifies. They represented the workers at the bargaining table.

            With, or without the UAW/CAW, the writing was on the wall for former “big three” I don’t care if your managing a Hot dog cart, or a giant corporation. Ignoring the competition, has dire consequences.

            Carry on folks.

          • 0 avatar

            challenger2012, right again! I hope to live long enough to see social security go broke!

            I don’t begrudge anyone to join whatever organization they want to join. But even a devout UAW member can see what has happened to their beloved UAW over the decades leading up to the death knell of 2009.

            Maybe if the UAW had been more like the European unions that work WITH an employer instead of AGAINST them, things may have been different.

            VoGo, I’m an old man, but far from angry. My priorities in life are clear and I am focused on them. Maybe if I had been a member of a non-white minority in America I would have seen things differently. I call them as I see them, and what I see today is a whole lot worse than what I experienced before 2009.

            If things are so great for you, that’s super. I’ve seen better days during Reagan, Clinton and even Shrub. And there are still people in America who believe that the black guy who got into office is the best president ever, even better than Geo Washington himself!

            But to argue that America is a better place today than it was during Reagan, Clinton and Shrub, is being delusional, revisionist and in denial. Well, maybe for all the people on welfare it IS a better place! That’s what the majority wanted. That’s what the majority got.

            mikey, if employees want to join a union, they should be able to. The track record of the UAW isn’t all that great and their employers started looking for solutions elsewhere, like Canada, and now Mexico and China.

            Every job that went to Canada was one less for the UAW in America. If someone represents me I expect them to have my best interest in mind. I think the only interest the UAW had in mind was the union’s own well-being and dues collection.

            Many workers the UAW represented lost. I wonder how they feel about it.

          • 0 avatar

            HDC. ….We,the CAW never set out to rob jobs from our brothers ,and sisters ,in the USA..

            10 years ago Oshawa #1 and #2 and Oshawa Truck was running flat out, 3 shifts ,6 days a week. Since then we have lost 75 percent of our work force. You say it’s the CAW that’s to blame?

            In 2003 56 US penny’s bought you one Canadian Dollar. Do the math,sir.

          • 0 avatar

            mikey, I know that. But at the time that the employers made the decision to produce in Canada, more than likely it was cheaper to do so than do the same in America. The CAW had nothing to do with the decision to set up production in Canada. It was to the CAW’s advantage!

            Since then, things have changed and the value of the USD has tumbled. Now the values are reversed. I wonder if Canadian jobs will be lost when the employers transfer jobs to America, or Mexico.

            So Toyota is beating everyone to the punch by setting up a voluntary union in Canada for those who want to join the union.

            I think it is a smart move on Toyota’s part, rather than be burdened down with union efforts to recruit its workforce and force them to join.

            However, that said, I wonder how many employees will voluntarily sign up to be represented by a union, and how much arm-twisting will go on behind the scenes.

          • 0 avatar

            The days of “arm twisting” are long gone. Toyota didn’t get to be number one from stupidity. Given our present economic situation in Ontario, I can’t see UNIFOR gaining any more ground, in the foreseeable future.

          • 0 avatar

            mikey, that’s what they say about the arm-twisting.

            However….. in America there have been employees who claim to have been “coerced” to favor unionization of certain foreign-owned plants in the South of the US.

            What I do know for sure is that my daughter was forced to join a teachers union in El Paso, Texas, as a precondition for her being offered a position by HR.

            That wasn’t a big deal for my daughter, because she had to belong to a union in California when she worked there, prior to moving to El Paso, TX.

            But she was told by a lady union-rep to commit to joining the union or her application would not be supported before HR by the union. Arm twisting comes in a variety of methods. Some subtle. Some not.

        • 0 avatar

          challenger, my comment is awaiting moderation.

        • 0 avatar

          If they can make the *same product* a lot cheaper overseas, they *should*.

          Because then everyone in the US pays less for the *same product*.

          Benefit everyone else, at the cost of some specialized workers who aren’t as cost-efficient?

          Yes. Sign me up.

          Because the alternative is economic autarky, which makes everyone *poorer*.

          • 0 avatar

            Being economically independent leads to ruin?

            Definition of AUTARKY
            : self-sufficiency, independence; specifically : national economic self-sufficiency and independence
            : a policy of establishing a self-sufficient and independent national economy


          • 0 avatar

            28-cars, being economically independent sure worked real good for America from about 1946 through 2008, in spite of 9/11.

            Maybe if I qualified for foodstamps, free phones, free money, or if I was an illegal alien instead of being born in America, things would look rosier to me.

            I’m with Sigivald on this one: if they can make the *same product* a lot cheaper overseas, they *should*.

            I live my life in Wal-Mart fashion. Not fancy, but it works for me.

          • 0 avatar

            Do you truly think that if you were on food stamps or were an undocumented worker that things would be rosier for you?

            You really think that Obama is to blame for the Great Recession?


          • 0 avatar

            VoGo, No matter who is in office, the black guy, or anyone else, that is the person who is sworn to uphold the best interest of our nation. If these are the good old days for you, more power to you!

            And as far as illegal aliens in America? We in New Mexico do our best to give them drivers licenses and sent them on their merry way to infiltrate the rest of America.

            For us in New Mexico, and the other border states, illegal aliens have been a way of life since before I got to this area in 1965. We pass them through as fast as we can.

            “Give us your tired, your hungry, your poor downtrodden…” is a wonderful concept, until you have to pay for these welfare cases. And pay, we Americans do.

            Please don’t tell me what an expert you are on this illegal alien thing. My youngest son lives it 24/7 in SW Texas. Most of those illegals will be welfare cases, and just about all of those kids will be wards of the state.

            It also leaves the door open for their parents to come to the US to join them. Once they’re here, we don’t send them back, unless they have a criminal record. But after we deport them, they just keep coming back, time and time again.

            If this is cool for you, help support them. Send money!

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    How is a “voluntary” union local financed? Does it collect “voluntary” union dues?

    • 0 avatar

      I would expect so; if you sign up, you pay dues, much like any other professional association.

    • 0 avatar

      One assumes?

      I mean, I’m pretty reflexively anti-union, *as they stand now in the US*.

      But take away all the compulsions and the associated inevitable negatives and corruption, and make them *really purely voluntary* and I have no problems with them at all.

  • avatar

    Here we go again union bad, company good. Some people are talented enough to strike out on their own but for the vast majority they work for someone. How many grunts get into the military because they want too and how many just need a pay check. Unions have their good and bad points but if the crash of 2008 taught us anything its that the employers don’t give a sh*t about their employees. The first rule of business is to make money so if you can get away with paying less you will. Anyone who thinks that their employer would pay them what they currently earn or give them the benefits they enjoy if not for the unions establishing a base line is in for an awakening. No collective bargaining and you get screwed, just look at the history of labor in North America.

    • 0 avatar

      Anyone who thinks that all employers are the same, or that many (not all) don’t recognize people for what they are really worth and honestly believe in doing the right thing because it’s the right thing isn’t qualified to have an intelligent conversation on the topic.

      Also, there are entire industries that have no history of unions, so it’s folly to think that everyone’s wages are based on unions.

  • avatar

    “Canadian Toyota plant may be the next facilities to get a “voluntary” local”

    I assume you mean “plants”. Man, the force is not strong with TTAC’s copy-editing today.

  • avatar

    Collective bargaining requires collective dues. But this voluntary local is a good way for the powerful unions to spend some time and win a war of attrition because once you’re ingrained in the community it’s far easier to win the battle over the corporate forces. I’m not happy we have to battle so hard in the US & Canada when so many other countries are pro-union, but then again we’re stubborn corporatists who love to be ruled by the business elites who resent us for breathing their precious air…

    • 0 avatar

      “business elites who resent us for breathing their precious air”

      It’s funny because that describes more than a few union bosses. When unions become big business–and many are–who protects the dues-payers from them?

      There are many people who are not pro-union because the unions they’ve had the pleasure to associate with have treated them worse than those evil business owners the pro-unioners despise. I know this is heresy to the stereotypical extremist talking heads, but many of us form our biases based on our own experiences. For example, I have found that individuals run businesses, and when those individuals are good people, they do good things like treat people well, but when they are bad people, they do bad things. That happens to be true whether it’s a company or a union, so I can’t take the side of either the company or the union, only the people who run either.

      Personally, I’ve been treated quite fairly by all my employers. Others I know have not. Some friends have been threatened and undermined by union members. Others have gotten excellent training and job opportunities from theirs.

      • 0 avatar

        Anecdotal retort, basic argument of individualism, a dash of libertarian ideology of Horatio Alger variety. Does that sum it for you or would you like to claim something else? Honestly, I hear your remarks but they’re coming from such a well-worn path of angry right-wing faux populism that I can’t help but ignore it because the economics and historical journals are full of responses to counter the whole argument. Even if you want to point fingers at back room dealings amongst the largest unions in the country I can point hundreds more at the Fortune 1000 and not even touch the medium size companies that fight tooth and nail against the threat of their profit margin.

        The argument is of where profits should go. Unions say to the workers, corporations say to themselves. You can feel however you want about the administration of individual unions and their overall track record but your ideological position is abundantly clear.

  • avatar

    redav. In every company I’ve worked for it all boils down to money, yours and theirs. If a company can get away with it replacing expensive labor with equally qualified cheaper labor is just good business. Non union shops pay union wages because they need to attract qualified workers who would otherwise go to the union shops. There were no unions at the turn of the 20th century, how’d that work out for the 99%.

Read all comments

Recent Comments

  • EBFlex: You forgot swamp. Maybe the next edition will be the sanitary sewer edition where it comes with a free toilet...
  • stuki: Duh! AI was recognized to be a dead end by the 60s. Among literates, it died with Flash Gordon and flying cars.
  • stuki: All that may well be true, but the main reason Rivian can beat carmakers as hyping cars, is specifically...
  • IHateCars: A modern version of the Stroppe Baja Bronco would be cool.
  • mcs: @slavuta: Ha! Ladas don’t need gas. Kvass is just as good for them!

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber