The rumours circulating that Toyota seems to be looking for sites in Mexico to build an assembly plant underscore why Team Members at the company’s plants in Canada need Unifor representation.

“Changes in product lines at a production facility are a normal part of the evolution of a plant,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

“Unifor has experience handling the shift of product lines from one plant to another, and the process for bringing in new products.”

Dias said the likelihood of a new plant in Mexico threatening jobs in Canada is very low. Toyota needs all of the capacity it has, and has a great deal invested in its Cambridge and Woodstock plants, which are recognized as top-performing facilities.

According to the rumours that have been circulating for months, Toyota is looking at possible sites for a plant in Mexico to produce the Corolla, currently assembled in Cambridge. Dias pointed out that the Corolla is a very low-margin vehicle for the company, which is likely why it is the focus of the rumours.

Unifor has experience negotiating with auto companies to bring in new product lines to assembly plants as old products are moved out. With Unifor is its sole bargaining agent, Team Members at Toyota could expect the same service from their union.

“With Unifor as their union, Team Members would have a voice to represent their interests throughout any such process, rather than just listen to the rumours and worry,” Dias said.

“Toyota workers face the same insecurity as workers for any other manufacturing company – which makes it all the more important that they have a collective voice to represent them.”

Dias said such rumours also point to the need for an industrial strategy in Canada to ensure a stable manufacturing industry in this country and good jobs for future generations of Canadians.