Kirchhoff Update 2

Tricia Brown
/December 19, 2022

Workers turn to the union for various reasons; typically, wages are not the only reason that pushes them to reach out to join the union. We all know wages are important, and unionized workers do far greater than their non-union counterparts do with regular, dependable wage increases. Unionized workers make on average $5.17 more per hour than non-union workers. It is often one of the first responses from the bosses to offer wage increases to workers when they hear that employees are talking about joining the union or signing union membership cards. The boss offers these wage increases to deter workers from joining the union but workers are smarter than their employers give them credit for.

Unifor has been at the driveway of Kirchhoff Automotive a number of times and your employer is not happy to see us there. There are a few ways in which employers usually respond:

  • "If you unionize, we will close the facility"
    • Not true. Employers do not close profitable facilities just because they unionize. There are examples of this all over our country, every day.
  • "Why would you pay union dues and give away more of your wages?"
    • Union dues are tax-deductible, you don't pay a single penny until you ratify your first collective agreement. Workers join Unions to move forward, not backward.
  • Suddenly the employer is willing to listen to you, and even give you a raise/bonus/vacation.
    • Remember that this is just another ploy to get you to not support the union. Employers don't do this out of the kindness of their hearts, or they would do it without the threat of unionization.

Workers know better and can’t be fooled so easily by the bosses’ tricks. A Unifor collective agreement will clearly outline how to fight the rise of the cost of living and when wage increases occur in advance, so you and your family can depend on regular wage increases. This is far better than a promise of maybe more down the road from the boss with no guarantee.

Respect the work you do

Forming a union contract with benefits such as a health and dental plan, paid sick leave, RRSPs, and a pension plan is guaranteed in writing. With a union, you and your co-workers will have the support you need to fix health and safety dangers in the workplace.

Each day at Kirchhoff, workers show up to do their jobs with pride and to work in a safe environment. They offer solutions to improve their work but are met with politics and unfair situations. A Unifor collective agreement can build respect by clearly outlining the compensation and workplace procedures.

Joining the union is not against your employer; it is a way for workers to negotiate the terms of a legally enforceable agreement respectfully. To be very clear, being in the union brings a significant amount of power to workers. You will have a legal process to grieve management if they do not follow the rules, and you will negotiate a collective agreement and offer assistance on a day-to-day basis to support your membership.

You deserve respect in the workplace.

Thank you to the many supporters that have already signed a card to join Unifor. Please share this e-link with your co workers, so they too can sign a card confidentially online at:

If you have any questions about the process of joining the union, be sure to sign up for our weekly updates or send along any questions you may have.