Current contracts between America’s three biggest automakers and private-sector Canadian union Unifor are set to expire next month. With talks already underway to hammer out new Unifor contracts, website OurWindsor reports that the union’s President, Jerry Dias, says Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles seem more willing than fellow US automaker General Motors to commit to new investments in the country.
“Though we have similar challenges with both Ford and Fiat Chrysler, they understand investment decisions are going to be part of 2016 negotiations,” Mr. Dias said, following a meeting with those two automakers last Thursday. Union officials had met with GM the day prior.
Bringing new investments into Canada is the single largest issue with regard to this year’s contract renegotiations between Unifor and America’s Big Three automakers. Ford Canada’s VP of Human Resources, Steve Majer, confirmed to reporters that new investment in Ford’s Windsor engine facilities has been a central concern in the talks. According to OurWindsor, he remarked that Ford is seeking “a made-in-Canada” solution that represents “a competitive agreement,” while still “meeting the needs of our employees.”
Ensuring that any new investments in Canadian production facilities are competitive could prove difficult for Ford and its fellow US automakers, as Canada is a comparatively high-cost country in which to produce automobiles. According to CTV News, Canada’s auto manufacturing appears destined to continue to decline due largely to a costly workforce and expensive electricity.