letterApril 3, 2014

Dear Ray Tanguay, Chairman – Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada

Earlier this week, your company indicated its hope that Toyota team members would be able to have an informed debate about joining Unifor. And yet, we’re seeing a great deal of misleading information, clearly intended to spread fear among Toyota team members.

We may disagree about the benefits of joining Unifor, but I am sure we can agree that Toyota team members’ jobs are not at risk if they join Unifor.

The reality is that unionizing is an excellent way to protect jobs and the industry.

Toyota team members may like to know that 90 per cent of Toyota plants outside North America are unionized. In fact, in Canada and the United States, we’re the odd ones out. Around the world, unions are critical to Toyota’s success.

As you know, because Unifor and Toyota already work together on important initiatives to build and protect Canada’s auto industry, Unifor is a strategic and responsible partner.

When it comes to collective bargaining, we always bargain in a responsible way. We carefully examine how the industry and companies are doing.

Working with our members, we bargain fair and sustainable agreements that address members’ priorities – and support the long-term success ofthe industry.

I am sure we can agree that unionized workers are not responsible for plant closures. We all know that Canada’s manufacturing sector has been hit hard in recent times. Over the last decade, Canada lost a stunning 560,000 manufacturing jobs, or 1 out of 4. These job losses have been devastating for the workers, their families and communities.

The evidence shows that the job loss across Canada has been evenly shared among both unionized and non-unionized workers. The real factors behind manufacturing job loss have been our overvalued Canadian dollar, unfair trade arrangements and a global financial crisis and recession.

Today in Ontario the unionized manufacturing workforce is growing. According to Statistics Canada, unionized manufacturing added 5,000 jobs in Ontario since 2009, while there has been a loss of 10,000 non-union manufacturing jobs over that same period.

Unions play a critical role not only in protecting and enhancing the rights of workers, but also in the strategic development of industry and the economy as a whole.

I look forward to working with you to ensure the well-being of Toyota team members, the success of Toyota and a strong, sustainable auto industry.

 

Sincerely,

Jerry Dias
National President
 

Download the letter