Unifor Employees Ratify New Labor Deal with Ford
A historic three-year agreement between Ford Motor Company of Canada and Unifor is now official. Eighty-one percent of Unifor-represented Ford employees approved the new contract on Sept. 28, kicking off an agreement that will last through 2023.
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“This is the single biggest investment in the Canadian auto industry in years providing long-term job security for Unifor members,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “The vote result not only demonstrates our members’ overwhelming support for their bargaining committees and their new collective agreement, but also shows Unifor members have a clear vision of a strong and prosperous Canadian auto sector.”
Ford and Unifor came to terms on a new deal Sept. 22 after negotiating past the previous night’s 11:59 p.m. deadline. The major win in the new deal is Ford’s investment of $1.95 billion Canadian dollars in manufacturing. That includes C$1.8 billion to retool Oakville Assembly for electric vehicle manufacturing in 2024, making Ford the first automaker to build battery-electric vehicles in Canada.
“By introducing battery electric vehicle production at Oakville Assembly Complex, we are cementing our Canadian operations as a leader in advanced automotive manufacturing,” said Ford of Canada President and CEO Dean Stoneley.
Dias says that Oakville will produce five battery-electric vehicles by 2027. The plant’s estimated annual output is 200,000 vehicles.
The deal also includes C$148 million for Windsor Engine, which goes to a new 6.X-liter engine program. Dias suggests that the engine in question will be a 6.8-liter for the F-150 and Mustang. The Essex Engine plant will continue to produce Ford’s 5.0-liter V8.
New deal a big win for workers
In addition to a new production mandate for Oakville Assembly, the three-year deal between Ford and Unifor provides big incentives for employees. Hourly employees will see two wage bumps of 2.5 percent over the lifetime of the deal, and full-time permanent employees receive a one-time C$7,250 ratification bonus. Unifor also negotiated for inflation protection bonuses as well as premiums for employees working afternoon and midnight shifts.
Grow-in time for new hires decreases to eight years from the previous 11. The contract also stipulates flexible alternative work schedules and expands the temporary employee program. In addition, Unifor employees will have access to paid domestic violence leave and a racial justice advocate.
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