IAM Making Organizing Inroads at Canadian Auto Dealers

Markham Acura in Toronto
Nineteen employees at Markham Acura in Toronto make up one of two new organizing wins at auto dealerships in Canada.

Two recent organizing victories at Canadian auto dealerships have the IAM excited about the future of union representation in the industry.

Nineteen Markham Acura employees have become the first IAM members from an auto dealership in the Toronto area. The group of mechanics, parts personnel, apprentices and service advisors are now members of Local Lodge 235.

“These workers were looking for fairness on the job and greater security,” said IAM District Lodge 78 Organizer Scott Jackson. “This isn’t the first time we have tried to organize an auto dealership in the Greater Toronto Area, but the persistence of our organizing team of Roy Bhansingh and Phoenix Yuang has finally paid dividends. They gained the trust of these workers and we look forward to representing them.”

In April, 50 workers at International Rive-Nord Truck became the newest members of Local Lodge 712. The employees, who are the first IAM members at an auto dealership in the Montreal area, provide maintenance, modification and overhaul services for trucks, including those owned by the Canadian military.

“We were approached by the legal counsel for their staff association regarding a possible merger,” said District Lodge 11 Business Representative David Chartrand. “Three leaders of the association and the bulk of the membership attended our get acquainted meeting. We showed them our collective agreements from automotive and truck dealerships in British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. This convinced these workers of our capabilities in representing workers in their field. We signed 34 membership cards that very night.”

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