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Unifor opens office in Alliston, here 'for the long haul'

Posted September 14, 2017

Any notions that Unifor would slink away from trying to organize Honda of Canada Manufacturing and its affiliate plants in the area can be put to rest as the union is opening up an office on Victoria Street in Alliston.

Unifor, which was created August 31, 2013, as an amalgamation of the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP), has reportedly signed a multi-year lease, but has not yet opened for business.

"We are opening the office to support the efforts of Honda Associates to form a union in their workplace," Danny McBride, Unifor's National Representative/Organizing told Free Press Online via email this afternoon. "The office will also serve as a headquarters for other organizing efforts in the surrounding area including Honda suppliers such as SPS."

The former CAW, and now Unifor, has been trying to organize Honda virtually since the automaker opened for business in Alliston in the mid 1980s, with no success.

But its been gaining ground the past few years as HCM and its affiliates like Simcoe Parts have relied more on temporary and contract workers.

Earlier this year the provincial government's labour law changes made it easier to organize workplaces, and also will change how temp and contract workers are paid. Among the changes, home care and community services workers, people in the building services sector, and those who work through temp agencies will have an easier path to unionize. Additionally, unions will be able to access employee lists and certain contact information if the union can demonstrate it has the support of 20 per cent of employees.

"We are definitely in Alliston for the long haul," wrote Mr. McBride. "There is lots of work to be done in the area with respect to organizing."

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All stories, unless otherwise noted,
by Tony Veltri