ChrisChris has worked at Toyota 16 years, drives vehicles on to rail cars. He works in Woodstock. He is 41 years old, lives in St. George, outside Brantford.

“I just think we need fair treatment and we need support in the plant. When you look at things like ergonomics and how we are treated — its a real sticking point for me.”

Improving ergonomics, the pace of work at the plant and working conditions at each station, must be a priority for Unifor, he adds. But he also wants to keep what he has and fears Toyota will next go after defined benefit pensions of full time workers, like they imposed defined contribution plans on new hires.

“They have come after everything else. We have lost holidays, they froze wages, which I understand in tough times but they are breaking sales records now. I now pay $300 for long term disability and benefits,” a big hike over what he used to pay.

“In the last eight years there has been a real pattern of taking and taking, and we don’t have the resources to fight back.”

Most recently the parts shortage issues has exemplified what is wrong with how Toyota treats its workers, either sending them home without pay or forcing them to remain at their work stations, often with nothing to do, for up to 10 hours.

He would prefer the Unifor model at Detroit Three plants where workers are sent home during a slowdown, getting 75 per cent of their wages.