(Adds response from union)
April 3 The union pushing to organize Toyota
Motor Corp's Canadian plants said on Thursday it would
delay a worker vote after Toyota said some 7,500 employees would
be eligible to join the unit, nearly 1,000 more than the union
The news is a setback for Unifor, Canada's largest private
sector union, which filed for certification with the Ontario
labor board on Monday and said voting would start next week.
Unifor said it would withdraw its application while it gets
more union cards signed. It said more than 3,000 workers have
"That is too much commitment for anybody to ever walk away,
and we would never let them down," said Unifor National
President Jerry Dias at a press conference. "We won't let them
The majority of workers must vote "yes" for a union to be
formed. A "yes" vote would be a big win for Unifor, making
Toyota's two Canadian operations the first wholly owned Toyota
facilities in North America to unionize.
Toyota spokesman Greig Mordue said Toyota has hired 1,000
new contract workers and transferred about 1,000 to permanent
status since the beginning of 2013.
Mordue said the company would ask Unifor to return the
information it now has on Toyota workers, and may challenge the
process under privacy laws.
"As part of the process under the Labour Relations Act we're
obliged to provide a full list of every team member in the
bargaining unit," said Mordue.
Mordue said the list included the names, work locations and
positions of all of Toyota's production and maintenance workers,
whether they are on leave and the last day they worked.
"More concerning is that Mr. Dias has indicated that he
fully intends to use this list in his ongoing unionization
efforts," said Mordue. "We think this is a serious privacy issue
and one we'll be taking up under privacy legislation."
Dias said the union is entitled to the information by law.
"That's ridiculous," he said in an interview. "That's just
another obstacle ... another way that the high-priced Bay Street
lawyers are trying to stop the workers from forming a union."
Mordue said Toyota executives would discuss the next steps
the company will take in the coming hours.
(Reporting by Allison Martell; editing by Frank McGurty,