Leaders of Canada’s largest private-sector union hope the third time will be a charm as they attempt to unionize employees at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada.
Unifor national president Jerry Dias announced Monday morning the union is applying to the Ontario Labour Relations Board to become the official bargaining agent for about 6,500 workers at Toyota’s assembly plants in Ontario.
The news comes after a more than year-long union drive at factories in Woodstock and Cambridge. If successful, they would be Toyota’s first unionized assembly plants in North America.
“Today is an incredible day. Today is a very important day for the Toyota team members because today is about hope and opportunity instead of despair and threats,” Dias said during a press conference in Kitchener, Ont.
Toyota workers will be asked to vote, possibly as early as next week, on whether they want Unifor to represent them.
In order to get union certification, 50%-plus-one of workers must sign cards indicating they’re in favour of it.