| 5:48 PM EST

Unifor Ratify Record Canadian Labor Pact with Ford

4:1 approval for new programs, higher pay
#facilities #Ford

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Autoworkers in Canada have approved a three-year labor contract with Ford by a four-to-one margin.

The deal’s shiniest element is US$1.5 billion in new investments at existing Ford facilities in Ontario.

New Products, Higher Wages

Ford will pump US$1.4 billion into its Oakville assembly plant to convert the complex into an electric-car factory by 2026. The retooling will begin in 2024 as the facility phases out production of Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus crossover vehicles.

The company also will spend US$111 million to bolster production capacity at its Essex and Windsor engine plants. Windsor will add a new 6.8-liter V-8 for F-Series pickup trucks and Mustang sport coupes. Essex will become Ford’s sole source of 5.0-liter V-8s.

Unifor, the union that represents 6,300 workers at Ford facilities in Canada, says the agreement will give qualified members a $5,400 “quality” bonus, 4% ratification bonus and a 5% raise over three years.

The pact also reinstates several wage, overtime pay and skilled trades pay protocols that had been modified following the Great Recession nine years ago.

Next Up: FCA and GM

Unifor’s next target is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, where talks will begin late this week. Unifor has 9,000 members at FCA, most of them employed in Ontario to make Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger cars in Brampton and Chrysler Voyager and Pacifica minivans in Windsor.

Unifor will seek to use the Ford agreement regarding worker pay as a pattern for a three-year agreement with FCA. The union also will press for commitments to produce new products, especially in Windsor.

General Motors will follow an FCA agreement. GM employs 1,600 Unifor members at its St. Catharines Powertrain and Oshawa Stamped Products plants in Ontario. The company shut down its assembly operations in Oshawa at the end of last year.

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