March 7, 2003
Toyota won’t force mandatory overtime for Ontario plant workers
Toronto, Ontario – Toyota has withdrawn its application for a review of an
Employment Standards order which held that Toyota had violated Employment Standards
law by scheduling mandatory overtime after eight hours of work a day. The Ontario
Labour Relations Board was set to hear Toyota’s application on March 10, 2003.
An Employment Standards Officer issued an order on September 23, 2002 requiring
Toyota to discontinue its practice of requiring employees hired before September 4,
2001 to work in excess of eight hours per day. The officer found that Toyota had
intimidated employees who exercised their rights under the Act and ordered Toyota to
cease and desist “any intimidation or threats of penalty” against these employees.
Complaints were filed with the Ministry of Labour by three employees of Toyota’s
Cambridge Ontario plant. All three complaints were upheld by the ministry.
John Lang, a lawyer with CAW-Canada who represented Paul King, one of the
complainants, stated that he was happy with Toyota’s decision to withdraw its
application. “This means that the order of the Employment Standards Officer remains
in effect,” he said. “It also suggests that the order was well reasoned and solidly
rooted in the law,” Lang added.