Unifor Local 707 President Dave Thomas said today that workers at Ford’s Oakville Assembly Complex want the union to negotiate a deal more generous toward Ford’s hourly workers in Canada – one that reduces the length of time required for a worker to reach the highest available pay grade. Unifor had intended on using its new deal with GM to establish a bargaining pattern, whereby the union could secure comparable concessions from Detroit’s other major automakers.
Unfortunately, the “framework that GM has set forward won’t ratify in Oakville,” Thomas told AN in an interview. “My members have huge concerns.”
Ford Canada and Unifor are still weeks away from finalizing a tentative labor agreement. Unifor National President Jerry Dias responded to Oakville workers’ requests, saying: “We’ll deal with Ford when we get there. The 707 leadership is listening to their members, and so we’ll see where that takes us.”
Unifor’s primary goal with regard to this round of contract negotiations has been securing new investments in Ford’s Windsor engine plants, but Oakville’s 5,000 or so hourly workers outnumber Windsor’s 1,700, meaning that Oakville could easily reject any tentative agreement that Windsor workers might accept.