Tentative deal first in Canadian Union auto negotiations
Five new electric models from 2025-2028
Unifor and Ford have reached a tentative deal in the latest rounds of contract negotiation between the two, says Unifor. The deal includes a significant investment into Ford plants in Oakville and Windsor and the start of electric vehicle production in Oakville in 2025.
The new collective agreement includes $1.95 billion in combined investments into the Oakville and Windsor, ON, plants. $1.8B of the investment will go to the Windsor plant, and that will see it retooled over time to build five models of electric vehicle.
Unifor President Jerry Dias said that one of the reasons Unifor chose to negotiate first with Ford, rather than GM and FCA, was that there previous there was no product scheduled for the plant, which is currently home to the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus, after the end of the Edge, expected to happen in 2024.
“It’s fair to say today that as an organization we hit a home run,” said Dias. He said that this is the first dollar of more than $300b of global EV announcements to be allocated to Canada. Dias added that not just vehicle production, but battery pack assembly would happen in Canada, by Unifor members.
Also included in the announcement was a new gas engine. A 6.8L V8 to be introduced in 2022 and built at the long-running Windsor facility that Dias says could increase long-term employment at the plant and sustains its future.
All details of the agreement came from Dias, as Ford Canada said that it would not discuss the tentative agreement until ratification had been finalised. Dias said he wouldn’t get further into specifics, including wage and benefit changes until the deal had been brought to the membership.
Unifor members had set a strike deadline of midnight Monday, but negotiations continued into today and this tentative agreement is the result. It will still need to be ratified by the approximately 5,400 Ford workers at the plants. Next up for negotiations, Dias said, is FCA with plants in Windsor and Brampton, ON.