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Toyota’s No Layoff Policy

Go to fullsize imageIn the midst of seemingly weekly announcements of layoffs and shutdowns in the Canadian auto industry, check out this story from the U.S. noting how Toyota will not layoff workers in Texas and Indiana, even though the factories they work at are shutting down for 14 weeks.  Instead, Toyota, in keeping with a purported corporate policy of ‘no layoffs’, and will assign the workers to training and various other activities to keep them busy during the shutdown.  This move could cost the company up to $50 million.  

The ‘no layoffs’ policy is an example of a human resource policy intended to dissuade workers of the need for union representation.  In an industry that is heavily unionized around the world, Toyota has been quite successful at keeping unions out of their factories.  This is certainly true in Canada, where organizing campaigns by both the CAW and the Machinists to organize the employees at the Cambridge factory in recent years have failed.  I’m not aware if the Cambridge facility has had layoffs in the past, or if Toyota Canada has claimed reliance on a ‘no layoffs’ policy.  If anyone knows, please let me know.

Thanks to Workplace Prof Blog for the heads up on this story.

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40 Responses to Toyota’s No Layoff Policy

  1. larry moyer Reply

    November 21, 2008 at 5:41 am

    I am employed ath the cambridge plant and will be building out the last lexus as of november 23rd then we will be in training till the new year for the new lexuss to ensure a smooth rollout. We have had a few “4″ unpaid days off although workers can opt to come to work for there regular shift for training etc. We also employ full time contract workers to keep operations flexible. When the can be guaranteed permanent work they are hired this can take anywhere from 1 to 2 or more yrs

  2. admin Reply

    November 21, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Thanks Larry, that’s interesting. Does this mean that the ‘no layoff’ policy is adhered to in Canada? Do you know if there have ever been layoffs at Toyota Canada?

  3. Rod Reply

    December 1, 2008 at 12:04 am

    I also work at the Cambridge plant, but on the North side that is responsible for the Corolla and Matrix. Toyota Canada does adere to the no layoff policy. That is the purpose of contract workers. If a layoff or down turn in the market takes place, the contract workers would not have there contracts renewed. So technically there are layoffs, just not that of full time workers. Toyota is unique in the way they run things. They would rather invest in training etc to improve quality so when the market picks up again, there product is that much better.

  4. Nick Reply

    December 5, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    I work at the Cambridge plant as well. There are two type of contract employees. 10 week “renewing” contracts which really means permanant contract status and also “task and term” contracts which range for 3 months to 1 year and those team members are hired to perform a certain jobs outside the normal production. Contract team members are hired at 75% pay of full rate and receive limited benifits. There is currently over 1400 permanant “contract” team members. Contract team members work along side permanant team members in all areas of production. Toyota also uses “outside” companys such as “Martin’s” and “Kelly’s” for non production jobs such as sanitation etc.

  5. admin Reply

    December 5, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks for your comments on this story. it’s nice to hear from the workers who actually work under the system. So, it sounds like it is somewhat misleading to say that there are never layoffs at Toyota Canada. It depends on how you define a layoff. People who have less job security (contract workers)– are just not renewed. But doesn’t that amount to the same thing as a layoff at the end of the day? To those workers, it makes no difference whether they are ‘not renewed’ or ‘laid off’– they are out of a job. The non-renewed contract workers are not sent for training, as in the story that this post links to. Is that accurate? Do the ‘non-renewed’ contract workers have any sort of first right of recall when things pick up again?

  6. Nick Reply

    December 6, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Actually, it was announced at a plant wide meeting yesterday that all contract employees will be on lay off (management calls it “not required”)as of Dec. 18th and will not be asked to come back untill Jan. 12th. They will also be required to stay home every friday in january. The contracts offered are non binding and can be cancelled for any reason by either the company or the employee. The company invests thousands on the initial training of every employee (everyone starts on contract) so it is not in there best intrest to have a high turnover rate. Since there is not a labour contract, there is not an official “rule” that the company needs to adhear to with respect to recall rights etc. If you or the general public is unaware that Toyota uses “contract” employees then it could be very misleading to say there are no lay offs. When 1400 people are told they can’t come to work for 3 weeks….you get the point. On the flip side, once you do become permanent you will told that you will never be unable to come to work and receive a 40 hour pay check even when there is no production etc. This is worth the wait for those employees on contract.

  7. Torentz Reply

    December 10, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    i also work at the cambridge facility and we have now been told that we have to take an extra week in January off. We can use our holiday’s or paid days off but we have no choice this time. As in the past Toyota has given employees a choice to take a paid leave or come in and find work or take an unpaid leave. I personally consider this a layoff as i have no choice but to take time off due to work shortage. Dont know if this constitutes as a layoff but it is a huge impact on our contract employees as they have no money coming in to them for this time off.

  8. Steve Reply

    January 9, 2009 at 5:08 am

    I work at Honda Canada and we also employ contract workers on 20 month terms with a chance (very slim one) of getting full time afterwards. As of Jan 09 all contract workers were told that as soon as there current contract is up they are no longer needed! The 20 months is split up into a 3 month, 7 month, and 10 month. At least 1000 workers are losing their jobs, but as far as the public knows, no one is being affected!

  9. kevin Reply

    January 9, 2009 at 11:31 am

    I also work at the Cambridge plant, have for over 12yrs. Fulltime employees havn’t gotten layed off, however contract workers have been, and probably will be again. Contract workers know that this is possible, noone ever tells them otherwize, they are well away that they are there as a buffer for downturns in sales, and any other issue that could effect production numbers. Have to say with the way the economy is I’m pretty happy to be where I am, however I feel bad for the contracts who had to take 3 weeks (just over) unpaid at christmas.
    To Torentz…if your worried about having to use a week of holidays for a week off…I say buckup…the economy is in shambles, and something has to be done…and…we get 7 weeks of holidays…so..it’s not that big a deal.

  10. Frank Simpson Reply

    January 9, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I work at the Cambridge Toyota plant and have been here for 6 years now. The 4 days off before Christmas were voluntary but not the week after Christmas. We also now have 3 voluntary non-production Fridays in January. We can take the days off unpaid, use vacation time, or come in for some sort of work. This is only for people that are full time. Contracts have no say. They are not allowed at work all these days. For now that is 12 days unpaid for them. I was also told by my Group Leader that there is a very good chance of another week shutdown in March, but that is just a rumor and not a fact.

  11. Garry Reply

    January 9, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I find it interesting that these Japanese companies rely on word play to make their name in North America. Bottom line is, its all verbal gymnastics. If people are told not to come into work there is no money coming in and therefore constitutes a layoff. Remember the bottom line is always the bottom line. Those of us who are told not to come in also have the right as stated in the ESA, to file for employment insurance, full timers do not have this option. As far as a job for life I dont believe that for a minute and never have. I was in health care before toyota a position very much required to provide quality of life for people in need, and received a layoff notice along with about 50 others. Again no money coming in from an employer = layoff
    Besides the full timers have already been told to steal hollidays from another week inorder to compensate for Jan. so in a manner of speaking Toyota is telling them when they can work as well and when they cant. Hollidays are earned by putting time in, time is money. Therefore no work first week Jan=no money coming in=layoff. The difference is between contract and full time is full time pull from a reserve(vacation pay)contracts pull from EI.

  12. Jay Reply

    January 9, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    I find it interesting that the full time people at Toyota all seem to think that the contracts were informed that they are there as a buffer. Im on contract I was told I have to work 44+ hours a week(including mandatory Saturdays) I was told I wouldnt get 100% of the pay(was told fulltime hire was at 48 weeks) was told that no benefits for three months and no dental for 1 year….that I was told before I signed my first contract…What I was not told was that I had better not call in sick, that I would be off for a month with no pay and no EI (our holiday pay was conveniently paid out early so that we now dont qualify before we go back) I was also not told about the 32 hours a week when we do go back….SOOO before people say that I understood I was a buffer before I quit my Job of over ten years to go to Toyota maybe they need to sit through an interview or orientation and tell me where that is…..the contracts ARENT laid off we cant get money from EI we just cant work…the sad thing is how many people u see doing testing to get in there…

  13. Evan Reply

    January 9, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    I work at Honda in Alliston. All our contract associates are not getting their contracts renewed and will subsequently be “laid off”. A lay off is what this is and Honda is trying to call a turd a rose….doesn’t make it so. Both HCM and TMMC are hiding behind technicality and legal mumbo-jumbo-jargon in order to disguise the fact that these expendible workers don’t matter and are not counted as layed off workers….kinda disgusting and morally wrong. My heart goes out to you contract workers and your families, thank you for your hard work and I wish it could be different-I was once a contract worker and now am a full time associate.I am ashamed of my companies practice and treatment of you and i am sorry.

  14. kevin Reply

    January 9, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    To Jay: I started on contract as well. I knew that as a contract I was basically a 2nd class employee, and was a buffer for slowdowns ect. for the fulltimers. Every contract i now work with was also well aware of this fact. Do i like the system..no…but..everyone involved is well aware of it…if your not, you must not have been paying attention.
    let me ask everyone a ?? would you rather have it handled the way it has been?…or the way the Detroit 3 would..and that is..contracts gone completely, and fulltimers laid off. No 32hrs a week in janurary for contracts, no option of working on fridays for fulltimers….no work at all.
    I for 1 will take the week of holidays at the new year, and the optional fridays in janurary. try and look at the “entire” world around us right now…and not just own.

  15. Randy L. Reply

    January 9, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    This is a great topic for discussion and hits the hear of the union drives of past and present!!!
    Thanks for the forum.

    Do we need a union if Toyota “never” lays off?

    Let me start by saying I have been employed at TMMC, Cambridge Toyota plant for 9 yrs now and am a team leader.
    I was on contract for just under 2 years, and have seen many team members been lay off ( contacts that is ) or terminated as Toyota calls it.
    Call back rights are skewed as there is no one to monitor this , no third party to represent the employee.

    One can argue all they want that this is not a lay off and that each person is aware of their position, but I will flat out tell you that I was never told I was a ” buffer” . I was told to work in excess of 40 hrs a week with limited benefits, no pension contributions ( and the pension is a totally different story ) and no vacation. A well as being in fear of ever calling is sick if need be!

    Once I was hired full time there is an unofficial promise of no layoff but who can guarantee this???? no one can!
    And the intimidation while on contract will always leave a bad taste in my mouth and I feel middle management is to blame for this.

    Profit is the bottom line and if my wage, or my vacation or my benefits get in the way they will all be reduced to pad the bottom line for our stakeholders and that is a fact!

    With a union people are told in advance and can prepare for down turns, as well as have funds set aside to supplement their E.I. claim as to lessen the burden of being off work.

    We at Toyota have no advance warning as we are told the week of or even less, of major changes to our work schedule and benefits etc. Also we have no such fund in place to supplement our wage ( IMP or SUB for example ).

    One other thing that most people do not take into account is that we in Canada have been making cars for just over 20 yrs, unlike some of out competition, so the labor cost is a completely different story as well, not to mention cost of benefits etc.

    There are so many different factors involved that the general public do not see, but one thing is for sure image is everything!

    Am I glad to be employed with Toyota? very much so.
    Do I feel secure? in this market and industry? not one bit!
    Would things be better with a union? that depends on your point of view but from a workers standpoint the answer is always yes even if the individual is grossly uninformed on the subject.

    Every educated workforce has an organization backing its workforce and there is a reason for this.

    Things have changed and will continue to do so.
    Toyota I feel is on the right track in regard to quality of product and manufacturing, but they have so much work to do in regards to its most important asset……its work force!

    Union or not…..layoff or contract manpower adjustment, or whatever the flavor of the day is we can all learn from each others past mistakes and triumphs.
    When was the last time we won JD power?

    Facts are facts, we have lay off workers and will do more, our wage and benefits are in jeopardy…………but we make a hell of a car! Are we all willing to do it for less?

  16. SK Reply

    January 10, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Canda will be next!!!!
    AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY
    Analysts say unless sales improve, Toyota may have layoffs in U. S.
    By Alan Ohnsman
    BLOOMBERG NEWS
    The worst U. S. auto market since the early 1990s may force Toyota Motor Corp. to do something that was once unthinkable: cut its North American payroll.

    Asia’s largest automaker, which hasn’t shed workers in 24 years of building cars in the United States, is exhausting options to trim costs after halting work on a Prius plant in Mississippi, idling a Texas truck factory for 15 weeks and planning to pare U. S. and Canadian output next month.

    “If we don’t see a rebound by the second half of next year, they’d probably have to consider layoffs,” said Haig Stoddard, an analyst at forecaster IHS Global Insight in Troy, Mich. “Toyota was expanding to catch up with demand. Now it’s got itself stuck with overcapacity for the first time.”

    Adding to the pressure on North American operations amid a 13 percent slump in its U. S. sales will be Toyota’s first operating loss in 71 years — an expected $1.66 billion for the fiscal year ending March 2009, Toyota said this week.

    It also lowered its net profit forecast — which gives a fuller picture by including income taxes and various other expenses — to just $555 million for the year through March 2009 — a tiny fraction of the 1.7 trillion yen it earned last year.

    On Wednesday, Toyota said its global vehicle sales plunged 21.8 percent in November, its biggest drop in eight years.

    While the 13 percent drop through November is smaller than the industry’s 16 percent average, Toyota trails its biggest Japan-based competitors. Honda Motor Co. is down 5.4 percent in the U. S., the least among major automakers, and Nissan Motor Co. is off 9.1 percent. Depending on December sales, the U. S. market may fall to its lowest annual total since 1992.

    Job cuts can’t be ruled out as sales continue to fall, said Jim Wiseman, vice president of external affairs for Toyota’s North American production unit.

    “We wouldn’t anticipate it getting to that point, but we never say never,” Wiseman said. Toyota has 30,000 North American employees spread among 14 assembly, engine and parts plants, and vehicles built on the continent made up 56 percent of U. S. sales through November.

    The Toyota City, Japanbased company hasn’t cut full-time workers since 1950 in Japan, when it last posted an annual loss, though temporary jobs have been eliminated.

    Toyota adopted a lifetime employment policy after years of labor turmoil, said Jim Womack, chairman and founder of Lean Enterprise Institute in Brookline, Mass.

    “At the end of the day, you can be as paternalistic as you like, but if there’s no cash in the till, it all comes to an end,” said Womack, co-author of “The Machine That Changed the World,” a book about Toyota.

    Toyota’s North American production fell 13 percent to 1.45 million units through Dec. 20, according to trade publication Automotive News. Most of the drop came from idling the San Antonio plant and an assembly line in Princeton, Ind., from Aug. 8 until Nov. 3 as inventory of Tundra pickups swelled.

    The $1.3 billion Tundra factory opened in November 2006, before crude oil surged to a record $147.27 a barrel in July and the recession damped demand. Tundra sales are down 28 percent this year.

    The 2,000 San Antonio workers stayed on the payroll to train, work on efficiency improvements and even do community service such as graffiti removal — practices that may become less tenable as Toyota adapts to the end of the growth that marked the years since U. S. assembly operations began in 1984.

    “In the past our flexibility was only upward,” Ray Tanguay, Toyota’s executive vice president of North American production said Dec. 4 at the opening of the company’s plant in Woodstock, Ont. “To manage downward flexibility is obviously more challenging.”

    Workers in San Antonio earn an average of $25 an hour in wages and benefits, estimates Ron Harbour of the Harbour Report, an automotive industry newsletter. That means Toyota may have had $30 million in labor expenses over the 15 weeks workers weren’t making trucks. Toyota’s Wiseman declined to comment on these estimates.

  17. tina anne Reply

    January 26, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I work for a subcontractor fulltime that has always supplied the Toyota plant in Cambridge, we work in correlation with TMMC. same shift hours same floater holidays etc..

    On our ROE that we received it stated Lay off for reason shortage of work if you will..( the Auto industry is so hard hit ei has a separate section separate code for those workers..sad eh.. three weeks off work.. Jan 12 return date. yes back to work with Friday’s being no work.unless you have seniority and can haggle something to do to work the day and get paid for it..
    Technically that is not a fulltime job to return to. but why waste the ei one is allowed to only make 174 a week while on ei, so as i say why waste the claim. it is just an economic loss all the way around. cant go and get hooked up for one day to another job in case in a week its different one has to be available for their job should it need them there.. 800$ a month loss..
    as it is right now by the time one pays for gas to come to work from (most of us) out of town, ei would be paying better with the friday not being paid for. we get our vacation pay so we can have a christmas and eat and live in December til the middle of (sorry end of January) when we receive our first 2 week pay back. It isnt even a full 2 week pay. there are no vacation pay days left. if it is earned worked time, we get it every shutdown period TMMC has. so there is no Las Vegas trips No room for extra days off. then we try to recover til the next shutdown period..

    Rumour has it one week shutdown in Feb perhaps, March maybe too. Only rumour though,, but still this 3 week shutdown at Xmas til Jan 12 was a rumour turned fact.. It is an uncertain time for sure. ALL at a loss to the employee as well. the big picture is there is no job security. AT least with Union the SUB would help and keep the employees able to go on and be able to afford to drive to work and eat, This is the second time in 9 yrs Toyota has shut down ( be it for retooling they say or shutdown with an extension). one christmas time it was shut down for 28 days it was tough, like this year was. another thing because of the floater holidays paying the one day, it cancelled out an ei received for that week at a total loss of 300$, we get nothing on ei for the 3 weeks off. 2 weeks waiting period plus stats took care of anything, and then the floater being switched finished off any possible ei coming in it was changed to the 9th ..
    anyway thk u for listening to my rant. hope it all figures out soon. only good thing ei’s waiting period has been served..
    im glad i m not on a contract and am a fulltime worker , it still has affected so many in different ways. Union would help the small ways where the attention is needed.. employee. as someone said about turn around there would be a revolving door of staff im sure of that, if it werent for the idea of a fulltime job after the contract time, it isnt guaranteed. ive heard many stories over the years, someone bought a new house because the income coming in was good, then the contract was yanked, or a new vehicle on lease, all of a sudden they have to go to Kellys or soemwhere and work at 14 an hour beucase the contract was done or Toyota decided they didnt need them any longer. this practise should be looked into it is hiding some real key issues to employee rights perhaps, cant apply for ei or work in some other capacity, so one is trapped cant eat cant work though,. again thks for listening to my rant. lots of food for thought.

  18. kevin Reply

    January 26, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    which x-mas were we shut down for 28days?…been there over 12yrs…and don’t rememeber that at all. From the sounds of your rant…it seems you think it would be better for tmmc to simply get rid of all the contract workers, rather than at least give them 32 hrs a week….pretty sure 32hrs at TMMC is probably better than 4o at most other places, and def. better than ei

  19. John Reply

    January 26, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    I work at the Honda plant in Alliston and I just was reading this forum and wanted to add my 2 cents. I don’t know how many companies out there hire internal contract associates but I don’t agree with these practices and I think it is a serious issue that the government should look into. These workers come to Honda knowing that they are second rate workers doing EXACTLY the same jobs as permanent employees! Now if that’s not a kick in the nuts I don’t know what is? The uniforms they wear are the same, the jobs they perform are the same, but the contracts make $10 an hour less then the permanent employee! Think about that for a second!
    They also have no benefits, no job security, no vacations, and can’t even get a discount on the vehicles they make!
    What is it then that keeps these contract employee’s coming in everyday????????
    The elusive promise of someday becoming a PERMANENT ASSOCIATE!!
    But that day most likely will never come!
    As it stands now Honda has not hired a single permanent employee on the line since 2006 and as far as things stand now, it doesn’t look like they will be hiring anyone soon.
    Now the problem with this whole contract scenario is that they are not on contract until permanent becomes available…no that would be to easy!
    Contracts are signed for 20 months in 3 parts (3months, 7months, and 10 months) if they make it that far they get the joy of being let go and put into a hiring pool (for 1 year) for permanent employment!
    Now here’s an interesting fact for you, when Honda let’s them go they are essentially laying them off right?????
    WRONG??? Honda has no layoffs!
    Their ROE will say that their contract is finished which will get them EI but will NOT let them apply for the government sponsored Second career program! That means that the better choice in the first place would have been to skip out on working at honda and just go to school because you will be right back where you were before you started there, and the government won’t help you, because technically……..you weren’t layed off???
    Recently Honda decided to call back the lucky contracts who had previously completed 20 months and were still in the 1 year hiring pool and offer them ANOTHER 20 MONTH CONTRACT! But shortly after doing that Honda announced, at a December meeting that ALL contracts will be phased out by October 2009 at the very latest because of the way the market is! So instead of 20 months like they thought they were coming back for the recalled contracts will only get 10 months and another ROE that says…you guessed it “finished contract”.
    How is this allowed to happen? They are using people and then just tossing them in the trash. What is there to work for if you know you will not even have a chance at a permanent job? 1000 people are losing their jobs in Alliston but will it even make the paper? I doubt it, they weren’t layed off, their contracts are finishing! But NO MONEY coming in is the same no matter how you look at it! In Honda’s first 18 years of operation they went through appox. 8,000 associate numbers! But in the last 5 years (which is approx. when they started to hire contracts) they have gone through over 10,000 number! There are only 4,600 that work there at any one time, so the majority of the 10,000 people hired in the last 5 years were on 20 month contracts! And almost all of them finished and were put into the hiring pool for a year! Only about 1% got hired for permanent employment! That means the other 99% never got hired and were just used by Honda!
    It’s very fitting that Honda’s slogan is “THE POWER OF DREAMS”.
    But for the Honda contract worker their dream will never come true! They will not become a permanent associate!

  20. Sam Reply

    January 28, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Honda buying out 1,000 contact staff….is that considered a layoff?

    http://www.allistonherald.com/allistonherald/article/127542

  21. John Reply

    January 28, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    well they will argue that its not but 1000 people getting layed off or getting their contracts bought out is the same thing!!!

  22. HCM GUY Reply

    January 28, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Im not a fan of the contract situation either but I would like to see all you guys on the other side of the fence signing the paychecks and see how your opinion would change, if it was my company I would probably do the same thing, why wouldn’t you? Remember, if we didn’t have contract workers it would be YOU getting laid off…

  23. Jason Reply

    January 28, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    No if we didn’t have contract workers, all the contract workers would be full time, and it would still be THEM!!!
    But then it would be considered a lay off!!
    And Honda doesn’t lay off!!!!
    I really believe that Honda needs to evaluate this whole contract employment thing, they should come up with a way to keep them on until there is full time. No one wants to go into work when they know they are working towards nothing! If Contracts were told at the beginning that this will not lead to full time because we hire full time off the street or some other way, no one would want to do a contract. But since everyone knows the only way you get full time is by completing your contract and then waiting in the hiring pool, people will still want to work there. Even if the chance at full time after completing the contract is slim, there is still that “chance” and that’s why people accept these contract positions!
    The only reason Honda is giving the 8 weeks of pay is because they know all the workers will either leave early or start to mess up the cars! Its an incentive to keep them there to train their replacements!

  24. Former HCM Worker Reply

    January 29, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    John (HCM) worker. You are wrong. Contract workers from Honda are eligible for Ontario’s Second Career Program. I finished my contract in April and started school in September. So yes, you can get it. I also know many people whose contracts have finished that are going the same route I am.

    As for why I worked at Honda for 20 months knowing that I propbably wouldn’t get hired full time I and many others, were told blatently that we were being hired for contract, and that there would be little chance of being hired full time-HCM has been doing this for quite sometime, unfortunately, some people choose to believe other or that they will be the lucky “1″). The pay and the experience. Potential employers know how hard you work when you work at a place like Honda and know that you will have a strong work ethic.

  25. Greg Walker Reply

    January 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    To John (HCM employee). I am not sure where you are getting the info that contracts that are laid off do not qualify for Ontario’s Second Career Program, but you are wrong. This program is available for any Ontario Citizen who has been laid off for ANY reason (including contracts ending) since January 1, 2005.

  26. John Reply

    January 29, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Sorry I guess I was misinformed about the second career program!
    To “Former HCM employee” I can understand you saying you worked there for the pay and experience, but Honda is at the top as far as high paying jobs go, so why would you just want to go there to bolster your resume to get a lower paying manufacturing job???? It just doesn’t make sense! If you know of a manufacturing job that pays higher than the contract wage, let all of us know about it because there are a lot of former employees who will never make that kind of money again! Everyone regardless if they admit it or not goes to Honda for the dream of getting permanent employment, but yes the attitudes do change as you find out how this company truly operates! I truly feel bad for the contracts who formally finished their 20 months and then were called back again late last year for a second 20 months! That second 20 months has now been cut down to 3-5 months depending on start dates, and they are once again out of a job. These Contracts have shown their dedication and what does it get them……Nothing!!!

  27. EC Reply

    February 1, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    From day one, contracts know there is a very slim chance of being hired on full time, but for those who still choose to accept the responsibility of completing a contract, good for them.
    Take a contract position or don’t, but people need to stop complaining about how they think they are entitled to something they are not. Honda owes you nothing.

  28. tina anne Reply

    February 2, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    to kevin
    not really. and yes it was shut down(we were not at work) for at least 25 days years back… been there 8 yrs so it was between 2000-2007 i’d say.. cant remember the year. and no a loss of 800$ per month(s) income is not more proactive than retraining by second career or ei even.. or another job that pays 40 plus hours a week.. for a more secure type of job and not being trapped by a 4 day work week. cant even get work for the one day a week because it could be week to week if there is work there we have to be there fridays.after one pays gas for the 4 days and then gets hit below the belt with the 800$ a month loss. it is never ending. i hope it ends soon though. sure isnt going to get any better..there needs to be change..not 4 day work week kind..
    see the store robberies and bank robberies on the rise etc etc. it( the economy) is bad for alot of people.. whats next it ll be like the u.s. people cant pay their mortgage and food costs. well thats already started i hear..i rant as you call it, it is imforming.. no more than you or anyone else I live it its the truth, it isnt getting any easier. you know what, for the 3 weeks at xmas shutdown ei didnt pay a thing. waiting period and the stats and the floater being changed took care of that. so we are what a month behind in bills now so and not reaping any of it back, and going back to not even a 2 week pay…certainly not a good time going to work hungry and worrying about gas or repair costs from travel to work, just to go to work. it almost better to work local make 16 an hour..? sometimes.

  29. Benn Dover Reply

    February 6, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Tough thing to go through at Honda !? I guess without union support, this is what you are faced with. Mind you, unions have done Nothing for the automobile sector other than create unemployment. Contracts are the flexible work force? They are a process, a fellow worker, a friend and a scared, uncertain and often a sore worker. They work very hard as all employees who work for the Japanese corps. But to speak of them as disposable is depressing. They are sons, daughters, moms and dads, yet we can be comfortable knowing they are on the chopping block, not us the full time workers. I’ve been with the Japanese autoworkers for 20 yrs and at no time do I feel secure, especially in these times. We need to look at cuts from the top salary earners, supplies and perks. Leave the lower management and employees alone, they work hard and if anything deserve more. The contracts are an important piece of the work force and we should appreciate and embrace them as our work force and do what we can to keep them.

  30. kevin Reply

    February 6, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    to Tina Anne.
    this was the 1st year I havn’t been over the christmas holidays, let alone extra days. my typical break has been 3 days… have worked every thing cept x-mas day, boxing day, and new years….so…don’t recall and 25 day break.
    if the contracst got layed off…where are these so called 40 hr jobs?….and you can’t say they could go work 40 hrs in one sentence, then follow it right up with the part about layoffs being everywhere. I know I would definitly take 32hrs at TMMC over EI any day.

  31. tina anne Reply

    February 19, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    i hear ya Kevin..i do… but you prob arent making 21.50 an hour before taxes with a loss of 800 a month. soem of our contract drivers are making liek 18 and only working the 4 day week that will hurt..
    we still have the same expenses as if we worked friday…
    well now with the plant working 5 days its all good again… well we re on on fridays im just assuming all is for a go on fridays..

    only once in 8 yrs did we have to file for ei and got our waiting time in didnt see it til we went back that year.. as i say it was between 200-2007.
    ( we dont get paid for shutdown time unless there is a floater in there or a stat.). this past year becuase we got the floater on the 9th that took care of being able to get the 1 week ei. so we made nothing just lived off vacation pay and waited for the first 2 week sorry… 8 day pay in a few more weeks after we started back.. its all good now. But it has been a tough couple months not knowing how it would pan out at TMMC. i heard on the news they decided to keep all the fulltime hires and that the contracts wont be renewed. it is much more efficient and allows one to plan when we know..

    all the best… i heard chrysler is going to stop producing 2 or 2 brands of cars. wodner if tmmc will end up doing the same. hope it isnt the lexus or something that ll fer sure mean layoffs no matter how they dice that one..

  32. Jim Reply

    February 20, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Try working security at honda. I’ve been there ten years and only make 11.84 an hour. It’s imposible to earn a decent living and yet we get spat on by the associates for being contract. I wish i was paid $30 an hour to push a broom.

  33. John Reply

    February 21, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Man I didn’t realized that the security guards got payed so little!!!
    I feel your pain, but at least you still have a job unlike the 1000 contract workers who only have 4 days left!

  34. Norm Reply

    February 23, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    I think it’s time that the Government take a look at temp agencies, how they screw people and that companies stop using them and treat people fairly and with respect.

  35. John Reply

    February 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Honda contracts aren’t hired through temp agencies! They are hired directly through Honda, but on a fixed contract term of 20 months with the possibility of full time afterwards! No one has gotten full time in the last 3 years though!

  36. Norm Reply

    February 24, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    I was under the impression that some were but, in either case many companies do and the people hired by temp agencies get screwed out of pay and lose many rights that full time employees in Ontario enjoy.

  37. John Reply

    February 24, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    No all of the 1000 contract workers on the line at Honda are direct associates through the company itself, they do have about a handful of people hired through MANPOWER but they don’t work the line they just do various quality checks on parts before they are installed! They actually don’t even wear the uniforms we wear they have their own manpower uniforms to! I believe they are still keeping their jobs! But I really do agree with you on the fact of temp services abusing human rights, people have no chance at ever having a decent living when they don’t know whether they will have a job tomorrow.

  38. tina anne Reply

    March 8, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    SO OK NOW WE HAVE ALOT OF LAYOFFS AT OUR FIRM THAT SUBCONTRACTS . SOME OF THEM BEING PERMANENT. ANYWAY TO STAY COMPETETIVE AND NOT ALL OF US LOSE OUR EMPLOYABILITY WITHIN THE COMPANY. WE HAVE TAKEN A PAY LOSS. MOST OF US 6% CUT SOME 10%. SOME JUST LET GO. RRSP CONTRIBUTION STILL INTACT AND SO ARE BENEFITS.
    SO ITS LIKE GOING BACK 2 OR 3 YEARS IN PAY. HOPE THE FACTORY KEEPS GETTING BUSIER AND THE 5 DAY PERMANENT WEEK IS BACK SOON.
    COST OF LIVING HAS GONE UP GAS HAS GONE UP, IS IT ALL GOING TO GO TO THE CRAPPER SOON I WONDER. NEXT WE LL BE ABLE TO AFFORD TUNA AND A MOPED MAYBE. DUNNO..

    IF NUMMI ( GM AND TOYOTA) DISSOLVE IF gm HAD GONE BANKRUPT AT LEAST tOYOTA HERE IN CANADA WOULD BE BUSY..

  39. John Doe Reply

    September 4, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Listen people, enough bitching about working for contract.Its the gov of Ontario that
    lets these companies get away with hiring contract employees! Back in the day the only
    way you would even get a job is if you had a family relative that worked there.So don’t
    look at the company policy but the gov. letting hiring contract workers to stimulate in
    other words the economy.That makes their bosses and us think that they are creating jobs , securing their ridings and the companies cheap labour, until they decide weather
    they can hire one or two more people to fill the spots of the retiring workers. Its all smoke and mirrors. So if your on contract ask yourself , is am I willing to work for less.
    To pay the bills. For how long , and is this the best that I can do! If you decide to wait
    eventually you’ll be hired on full time. If your young enough go back to school! The gov of ont. will pay for everything and you’ll be the better for it , doing something you love to do.
    Sorry I don’t mean to preach but ,

  40. Wife of a temp.Honda worker Reply

    December 12, 2011 at 3:35 am

    My husband work for a temp. Agency that supplies the Alabama Honda plant with temporary staffing. The recruiter from the staffing company told us that my husband had a good chance of being hired and said he was going to be one of small class that would be hired as temps with his set of skills. Then days later more were hired, and this continued. He came home because he was now told that they filled the opened positions that they said were going to be filled by the temp workers that would be keeper on after completing contract. We pay for our own benefits,can’t plan for the future and moved across the country for this job. We made this decision based on the recruiters claims… Now my husband is jumping over hurdles trying to at least be that lucky one. He works hard, no benefits,no paid vacation unless he’s their for a year,can’t miss a day if he’s sick,will loss contract if injured. Not right. The recruiters are sucking the blood sweat and tears of good Americans. We shouldn’t be giving up a portion of his salary to a third party. Workers should be treated like people not numbers.They aren’t any better than common pimps and thieves.

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