Momentum to unionize continues to grow across Canada’s auto parts sector, after 600 workers at TRQSS Inc., a seatbelt manufacturer in Windsor, Ontario, voted to join Unifor.
“By joining Unifor, auto parts workers at TRQSS have taken an important step towards their objective of having the coverage, and security, of a first collective agreement,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Momentum is clearly building across the sector. Workers are standing up for themselves and saying loudly and clearly that they’re better off with the protection union membership provides.”
Unifor currently represents 17,000 auto parts workers across more than 100 factories in Ontario and Quebec. The union drive at TRQSS was certified by the Ontario Labour Relations Board on January 11, 2023 after workers voted to join Unifor late last year.
TRQSS supplies seatbelts to automakers such as Toyota in Canada and is a key factory, alongside four sister plants in North America, that comprise the TRAM auto parts firm, a subsidiary of Japanese-based Tokai Rika Group. It is the latest large-scale organizing campaign in the auto sector and follows the UAW’s successful union drive at the GM/LG Ultium battery plant in Lordstown, Ohio on Dec. 9, 2022.
“Auto parts workers are highly skilled and understand their vital role in our domestic supply chain, particularly as the industry transitions to electric vehicle manufacture,” added Payne. “This transition brings new opportunities. Unifor is poised for the future with a new vision for Canada’s auto sector that includes everyone and clearly our message is resonating.”
Unifor’s recently released industrial policy strategy, entitled “Navigating the Road Ahead” envisions a stronger, more sustainable auto sector powered by good, union jobs throughout Canada. One of its five core pillars focuses on implementing concrete measures to strengthen workers’ rights to unionize and bargain fair collective agreements with employers.