Unifor organizes major N.A. seatbelt supplier TRQSS in Windsor, Ont.

Workers at TRQSS Inc., an auto parts plant in Windsor, Ontario, voted to join Unifor, a major victory for union organizing that President Lana Payne said gave Unifor momentum in the Canadian auto sector. I was.

“This is the largest auto parts facility we have organized since Unifor’s inception,” said Payne. car news canada.

“We are very pleased that these workers have voted to have a say in their future working conditions.”

Employing approximately 600 people, TRQSS manufactures seat belts for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada and several other Canadian and US automakers. It is part of the TRAM Group, a North American subsidiary of Japan-based supplier Tokai Rika.

TRQSS also supplies General Motors, Mazda, Nissan and Subaru.

Payne said the unionization vote was the culmination of “years” of talks with factory staff. Workers said he voted for 48 hours in early December. The votes he tallied on Jan. 10, with about 70% of workers voting to join him in Unifor, the union said. The Ontario Labor Relations Commission approved the results of the vote a day later.

The factory staff will join the approximately 17,000 auto parts workers Unifor already represents. Formed in 2013 by the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers Union and the Communications, Energy and Paper Workers Union, the union represents workers at his more than 100 parts plants in Ontario and Quebec.

“Increasing Call” to Unity

According to Payne, the TRQSS vote has seen a renewed interest in unions among workers, which has led to a new wave of new calls to the organizing departments of unions operating in all sectors in recent days.

“It’s such a moment … We’ve seen moments of organizing like this over the past year across North America.”

Payne cites United Auto Workers’ successful unionization of Ultium Cells LLC’s battery factory in Rosetown, Ohio, as another prominent example. Employees of the General Motors and LG Energy Solutions joint venture decided overwhelmingly to join his UAW in December.

For auto workers, Payne said the move to electric vehicles is creating both excitement and anxiety. The union estimates that about one in three jobs in Canada’s parts sector is at risk as a result of the shift to EVs.

“Any transition will be challenging,” she said. “Workers understand the importance of having a union when going through such a transition, not only to help improve working conditions, but to have someone to fight for you through that transition. And I think you are.”

Nevertheless, unionized workplaces in the Canadian parts sector are far less common than non-unionized workplaces. Unifor estimates that there are about 1,000 auto suppliers in the country, employing 70,000 workers.

Payne said Unifor is working aggressively to add more workplaces, but hopes the union will pursue other organizing efforts at parts plants in Canada leading to a unionization vote in the near future. No mention was made of whether or not

“We have an organizing strategy that we are putting in place for the automotive sector. who could be at risk.”

A new Unifor member of TRQSS is included in Local 444. Local 444 represents hourly workers at Stellantis’ Windsor assembly plant and various parts facilities among other workplaces in the Windsor area.

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