On July 26, 1950, a courageous group of workers at Eaton Automotive joined the UAW and Local 27 was born.
The Locals first contract at Eaton Automotive was signed on December 22, 1955. Among its provisions were raises over 10 cents, improved holidays, vacations, health benefits and an eight-hour day and forty-hour week.
During the balance of the decade, five other units became members of the local.
The sixties was one of the rougher decades of the century – the reduction of jobs caused by automation and greater use of computers. By this point, the local consisted of seven plants with a membership of 1500.
With the growth of the Local, it was apparent that the members needed their own hall. So in 1967 the doors opened to the Local’s brand new building on First Street in London.
The seventies would begin for Local 27 with the promise of growth as nine new plants would join, bringing 192 members with them. The decade would also bring trying times to the Local with the imposition by the Trudeau government of wage and price controls, legal limits on what workers could negotiate
With a growing base, the Local worked with the CLC towards a broader political protest against this issue. On October 14, 1976, members took part in a National Day of Protest, causing many of the plants to be idle for the way without enough workers to effectively run the machines. It was a success.
The decade seemed to be a time when companies were eager to challenge the union, and also a time when workers would prove that they were up to the challenge. Within the labour community and particularly in Local 27, members rose to the challenge and rallied around the issues of the day.
In the mid-80s the UAW-Canada was reborn as CAW-TCA Canada.
By 1996, the Local decided to expand their hall on First St.
Over the next thirty years the local would experience historic wins and fight tough battles. The membership would grow and shrink, and eventually sit around 5,500 in 31 different units.
In 2013 CAW became Unifor. Unifor was officially formed on August 31, 2013, at a Founding Convention in Toronto, Ontario. It marked the coming together of the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) – two of Canada’s largest and most influential labour unions – and so began a new era of Local 27.
From the beginning, Local 27 was an amalgamated Local union, committed to the concept that the large workplaces were obligated to help the small. Since its inception, the Local’s contributions and commitments have gone way beyond the workplaces, as members have spent countless hours volunteering their time in the community.