A planned vote for unionization to be held at Toyota Motor Corp.'s Cambridge, ON, Canada, plant has been called off, and labor leaders are accusing the auto maker of deception.

“Based on a bargaining-unit employee list with over 900 new additional names submitted by Toyota late (March 18) to the (Ontario Labour Relations) Board and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, it was clear we didn't have enough signed membership cards,” Ian Morland, district organizer for the union, says in a statement.

The IAM earlier said it had signed cards from more than 40% of the 3,100 Cambridge employees it presumed would comprise the bargaining unit. Under Ontario labor laws, at least 40% of a bargaining unit has to have signed cards to activate a vote for unionization.

An attorney representing the IAM says it appears some of the 900 new names are those of people currently not employed at Cambridge.

“They included all kinds of people that hadn't worked there for years,” says James Robbins, of the Toronto law firm Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish.

Toyota earlier contended the Cambridge bargaining unit was larger than 3,100 and filed an appeal with the OLRB to have the vote halted.

But the board denied the appeal, ruling the vote could take place on March 20. Toyota then submitted the list of additional employees, which it was required to do by law when filng the objection.

“It's not like we surprised them with 900 new names,” a Toyota insider tells Ward's, noting there are more than 5,000 workers employed at Cambridge.

A check of the plant's official website lists employment at 4,500 as of December 2006. Robbins says the latter figure includes non-production workers, such as administrative assistants.