Union Blunder Delays Vote in Canada

Posted by Tucker Nelson on Friday, April 25th, 2014 at 3:05 pm - Permalink

Unifor, the Canadian union equivalent to the United Auto Workers (UAW) in the states, has run into a little problem in their attempts to unionize to Toyota plants in Canada. Two Toyota plants located in Cambridge and Woodstock Ontario are the target by Unifor to unionize.

 The union has had to temporarily delay the voting process in Ontario after it misjudged the company’s workforce.

Unifor believed it had union cards for 40 percent of the Toyota employees.  Well, Unifor got a little surprise when the Toyota filed paperwork with the Ontario Labor Relations Board. The company estimated their employees to be at around 7500, the union miscalculated and was off by over  1000 workers, leaving them short the 40 percent needed to call the union vote.

The Financial Post reported that Jerry Diaz Unifor national president said that “Unifor had only about 3,000 union cards signed by Toyota workers, about what would be needed to hold the vote. But it is well short of the 50%-plus-one required to vote in favour (SIC) of unionization.”

A professor at the University of Windsor believes that Unifor is in for an uphill battle. Anthony Faria was quoted by CTV News Kitchener saying that “These are workers who probably are very satisfied with the way things are right now.” Thus, trying to persuade workers who have already passed on the opportunity to sign the union’s card may pose a real problem for the union.

In the meantime, the union has decided to postpone the vote until enough cards are collected. However, Unifor seems to be under the watchful eye by many around the world in its efforts to unionize the Toyota plant in Canada, especially after the failed attempts by the UAW in the states to secure the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee in February.