toyotauniforFellow team members,

We understand that team members have received a lot of information from Toyota, from Unifor, and from other team members. Obviously it is important that we all make an informed decision. As your inside committee, we have talked to many of you about your questions and concerns regarding the organizing drive. We wanted to share some common questions that we have received, and answers that we have found which best address them.

We thank you for your support and hope to continue working with you to make working at Toyota even better.

– Your inside organizing committee.


Why do you think we need a union?

The company may call the union a third party, but it isn’t…it’s us – Toyota team members. TMMC used to be about sitting down and solving problems, but the round table meetings have become fruitless and issues are continually sidestepped rather than being resolved. With Unifor and a collective agreement, we will have clear rules, protection from unilateral changes, and a process to resolve issues fairly.


Does joining Unifor mean that we have to go on strike?

Nobody wants a strike. Almost all (98%) collective agreements are negotiated without a work stoppage. Toyota team members will elect our bargaining committee, vote on our bargaining proposals and vote to accept an agreement. In the rare case of a labour dispute, a minimum two thirds majority vote would be required and only after government mediation.


How much are dues and what are they used for?

Union dues are 1.35 per cent of regular earnings (excluding overtime and bonuses), and are taxdeductible. There are no initiation fees and union dues are not paid until we have voted to accept a new collective agreement. Unifor is a not-for profit organization and the dues go to provide representation and advocacy to members. And remember: the improvements in pay, benefits, and fair treatment that we will gain by having a union are far greater than the cost of dues.


What’s this “freeze” about?

When Unifor files for certification, all current working conditions will be legally frozen. This will not stop the normal course of business which includes scheduled raises, benefit increases, promotions or changes in contract workers’ status. This freeze will remain in place until a first collective agreement is ratified by us.


How would seniority affect contract team members currently working in preferred jobs?

Going forward, if team members want to negotiate job postings where seniority is a factor, this would not affect people currently in those jobs. They would not be “bumped” out of their job by a more senior employee.


Should we give the company a second chance to make things better?

This has not worked in the past. Management gives us the illusion of having input but everybody knows we are not taken seriously. With Unifor, we will have a real voice.


The company says it is almost impossible to get rid of the union. Is that true?

The process to decertify is exactly the same as it is to certify: with 40% support, the Labour Board will conduct a vote, which will require 50%+1 to win. The reality though is that the overwhelming majority of workers who join a union are satisfied and do not decertify!