Unifor, Ford Reach Tentative C$1.95B Labor Agreement
Ford Motor Company of Canada and Unifor have reached a tentative agreement on a new, three-year contract. According to terms released early Tuesday afternoon, the deal includes a shared investment of $1.95 billion Canadian dollars in the Oakville Assembly and Windsor Engine plants. That includes C$1.8 billion to retool Oakville and enable the production of five new electric vehicles.
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“The fact is until now, Canada has not seen one dime of the more than $300 billion dollars in global investments announced for EV production. This historic agreement changes that today,” said Unifor President Jerry Dias. “This is an agreement for our futures.”
The deal comes after Ford and Unifor failed to reach a new agreement prior to Monday’s 11:59 p.m. deadline. Both parties announced before the deadline that talks would continue into today to avoid a labor strike.
Dias secures production mandate for Canadian workers
At the heart of the latest round of labor talks was the future of Ford manufacturing at Oakville Assembly. In June, a report from AutoForecast Solutions Vice President Sam Fiorani revealed that there were no plans to continue production of the Ford Edge or Lincoln Nautilus after 2023. Ending both vehicles’ lifespans would mean no manufacturing at Oakville, jeopardizing the jobs of more than 4,6000 employees.
The new three-year deal effectively confirms that Ford is replacing the Edge and Nautilus with battery-electric crossovers. It also pins down Oakville as the plant responsible for those and three other EVs, which are slated for production between 2025 and 2028. The plant will also assemble batteries, which adds 300 new jobs.
Dias sought a three-year deal rather than a conventional four-year contract to put Unifor on better footing with the next round of United Auto Workers negotiations. Both contracts will come due in September 2023.
Retooling of Oakville Assembly will begin in 2024 after the end of production on the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus.
Unifor-repped Ford employees will vote to ratify the new agreement this coming Sunday.