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Unifor is a general trade union in Canada and the largest private sector union in Canada. It was founded in 2013 as a merger of the Canadian Auto Workers and Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions, and consists of 310,000 workers and associate members in industries ranging from manufacturing and media to forestry and fishing.[1] In January 2018, the union left the Canadian Labour Congress, Canada's national trade union centre, to become independent.[2]

Unifor Logo.jpg
AffiliationIMF, ITF, IFJ
Key peopleJerry Dias, president
Office location205 Placer Court, Toronto, Ontario

The union elected Jerry Dias, a former union leader at de Havilland's facility in Downsview, as its first president on August 31, 2013.[3]


Notable localsEdit

Local 1285Edit

Unifor Local 1285
FoundedMay 12, 1961
Members7242 (Sept. 2008)
Head unionUnifor
Office location23 Regan Road, Brampton, Ontario, Canada, L7A-1B2, 905.451.8310

Unifor Local 1285 (formerly Canadian Auto Workers Local 1285) is an amalgamated local representing automotive workers in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. It is the largest private sector union local in Brampton.

The Chrysler Brampton Assembly Plant is the largest unit in the local. Workers at Daimler Bus, SKD, Benteler Automotive, Hydro 1, Dana Automotive, T.I. Automotive, Eberspacher, Neilsons Dairy, PL Foods, Tilton, Crosby, Team Industrial, Abednego, Chrysler Parts Distribution, Aramark, and Transalta are also represented.

Among other events, the local has hosted and managed the Canada pavilion of the Carabram cultural festival.

In 1949 members worked for Nash Motors, a division of the Nash Kelvinator Corporation. The plant was located on Danforth Ave. in Toronto and produced the Nash Rambler. At that time the members belonged to UAW Local 1115. Nash Kelvinator was later bought by American Motors. The first contract between the UAW and AMC occurred in 1956. The line speed was 22 cars per day.

AMC built a plant in Brampton at the corner of Steeles and Kennedy Road and in 1961 the Brampton Assembly (AMC) facility began building the Rambler Classic. The line speed was 32 cars per shift. Local 1285 received a separate UAW charter that year on May 12, 1961. Charlie Carr was elected as the 1st President.

Several other workplaces have joined Local 1285 since 1961. Later, the Gremlin was produced. Terry Gorman was the longest serving President of any CAW Local, elected in 1975, he served six terms. Buzz Hargrove was the National Rep in 1975.

Bowing to public pressure, in 1977 AMC hired its first woman assembly line worker, Cecilia Palmer.

The CAW separated from the UAW in 1985. A CAW Charter was issued that year.

What is now known as the Brampton Assembly was opened in 1986 by AMC as "Bramalea Assembly" - a state-of-the-art robotics-based factory specially designed for building the Eagle Premier.

Chrysler bought out AMC and acquired both plants in August 1987. The newer factory built the innovative front-wheel-drive Eagle Premier and the 1989-92 Dodge Monaco version. The line speed was about 250 cars per shift. There was only one shift. There was not a lot of work. Layoffs were rampant. The old Kennedy Road Plant worked steady producing Jeeps.

The LH vehicles: Dodge Intrepid, Eagle Vision, and Chrysler Concorde were introduced at the "Bramalea" plant in 1992.

The Kennedy Road plant was closed on April 4, 1992.

Local 1285 President, Terry Gorman retired in 1993. Vince Bailey was elected as President.

The New Yorker, LHS, and later the 300M were Introduced. The Brampton Plant went to 3 shifts under the AWS system. Chrysler became DaimlerChrysler in the fall of 1998.[4][5][6]

In 2001, the 3rd shift was eliminated as a part of DaimlerChrysler's financial "Turnaround Plan". In 2004, the Brampton Assembly Plant started production of the 300C and Dodge Magnum. In 2005, the third shift was restored and an additional vehicle, "The Dodge Charger", was introduced. Chrysler was sold to Cerberus in 2007. In 2008 the 3rd shift was eliminated. Later in the year the Magnum was dropped from the product lineup. The Dodge Challenger was introduced. Vince Bailey was appointed to a National Staff job in 2008. Leon Rideout was elected as President of Local 1285 that same year.[7][8]


  1. ^ "'Unifor' will be name of new super union that combines CAW and CEP". Toronto Star. May 30, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  2. ^ "Unifor breaks with Canadian Labour Congress". CBC. Canadian Press. January 17, 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  3. ^ "New super-union Unifor’s first president vows to start pushing back if governments, employers don’t heed.". Toronto Star, August 31, 2013.
  4. ^ "Canadian Auto Workers ratify agreement to add jobs, third shift, to Ontario plant". The America's Intelligence Wire. 2004-10-25.
  5. ^ Higgins, Tim (2007-03-12). "Union accepts cuts in pay, jobs: Chrysler Group, CAW compromise". Detroit Free Press.
  6. ^ "CAW, DaimlerChrysler deal could add 900 jobs to Ontario plant". AP Worldstream via The America's Intelligence Wire. 2004-10-19.
  7. ^ Watson, Gary (1996-10-07). "Chrysler Workers In Canada Ratify Contract". The Militant. 60 (35).
  8. ^ Gindin, Sam (1995). The Canadian Auto Workers. James Lorimer and Company. ISBN 1-55028-498-3.

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