jerry_dias-298Jerry Dias, Unifor President, makes a direct appeal to team members at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada as to how the national union can make their workplace better.


Q: Why do you believe Toyota workers need Unifor?

A: “It is only with the protection of a collective agreement you have clear, precise spelled out conditions of employment. It eliminates unilateral implementation of change without permission of the workers.”


Q: Why have you not yet called a vote?

A: “It is about education, it is about people having time to learn all the facts to make up their mind. There is so much information floating around we need time to give clear, precise answers so people can make up their minds.”


Q: What do you see as the most pressing issue facing Toyota workers?

A: “We need to convert contract workers to full time employees. They deserve to be treated the same, they do the same job in the same workplace as full time employees, they deserve the same treatment.”


Q: Are you confident that a majority of TMs will vote in favour of Unifor representation?

A: “We continue to pick up cards on a daily basis, it shows the strategy behind education and getting the facts out is the right one.”


Q: Opponents will suggest Unifor, formerly the CAW, has lost jobs as plants closed and the union must bear some responsibility for that.

A: “Since the recession of 2009 more union jobs have been created than non-union in Ontario. At the height of the recession non-union jobs were lost too, but you never heard about that because they went away quietly, they did not have a union fighting on their behalf.”


Q: Critics also suggest Toyota will close here or at least lose some production if they unionize. What do you say to that?

A: “That’s nonsense. Toyota is more than 90 per cent unionized (outside North America) their union plants are profitable and they have invested heavily in union facilities.”


Q: How can Unifor help Toyota workers?

A: “The reality is Toyota has paid the wages and benefits on par or comparable to unionized workers to keep a union out. But the facts are, by unilaterally implementing shift changes, changing the pension plan, it exposes the purpose of the drive, team members need a real say in their workplace.”