Toyota President Tetsuo Agata has sent a letter to the President of the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO expressing his gratitude for the work the Building Trades unions have done in erecting each of Toyota’s U.S. automotive plants over the course of the last 25 years. Agata highlights the value of Project Labor Agreements and the quality and efficiency of the union work that Toyota has witnessed. Full text below…

Dear President Ayers:

As you know, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking for Toyota’s first North American vehicle assembly plant, located in Georgetown, Kentucky. In light of this milestone, I wanted to take a moment to thank the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO for its contribution to Toyota’s success in North America. We are extremely proud of the fact that, to this day, representatives from all manner of industries from around the world come to our Georgetown plant to learn how the time-tested experience of Toyota combines with Kentucky ingenuity at this state-of-the-art facility. And for that, we owe a special debt of gratitude to the skilled men and women of America’s Building Trades Unions, who constructed not only the Georgetown facility, but each and every one of our assembly plants in the U.S. and Canada.

Our production system has been consistently recognized as a model for the automobile industry, and we’re quite proud of how it helps us to make some of the finest automobiles in the world. And for 25 years now, we have been equally proud to have the skills, expertise and productivity of your members deployed on our behalf.

Large-scale construction projects pose unique challenges for corporations such as ours that maintain the highest standards of safety, efficiency and productivity. To address these challenges, Toyota has consistently employed Project Labor Agreements for our major construction projects, and we could not have been more pleased with the results.

To date, approximately 45 million man-hours have been invested in the construction of nine automobile, truck and component plants in the United States and Canada, with another vehicle assembly plant currently under construction in Mississippi. In each and every instance, those projects were completed “on time and on budget,” and with an exemplary safety record. And the Mississippi project is proving to be just as admirable. As we approach this 25 year milestone, I can say without equivocation that project labor agreements, combined with the pride, performance and professionalism of America’s Building Trades Unions have proven to be a valuable tool to meet Toyota’s economical and efficient construction process.

Toyota’s global market success is attributable to a never-ending pursuit of quality and continuous improvement. And over the course of 25 years we have found that America’s Building Trades Unions share that same commitment to overall excellence.

Thank you, and your members, for your support over the past quarter-century. We look forward to continuing our relationship and to our continued mutual success.

Tetsuo Agata
President, Toyota