Ford Motor Company and Canadian labor union Unifor at last reached a tentative agreement late last night, securing some $700 million in new product investments at Ford’s Windsor and Oakville facilities, but keeping the existing wage-increase scheme intact. The new contract now awaits ratification by Unifor’s 6,700 or so hourly Ford workers.
Unifor’s deal with Ford was struck around 12:30am last night, according to CBC News – about half-an-hour after the strike deadline. Canadian auto workers employed at one of the Big Three haven’t held a strike since 1996, but such action was authorized toward the start of negotiations.
According to CBC, much of the $700 million promised in the new Ford contract will go to Ford’s Essex Engine Plant to support production of a new powerplant. Unifor President Jerry Dias says that “this new engine will be the highest technology, will be the most fuel efficient, will have incredible torque, horsepower and will be put into Ford’s No. 1 selling vehicles throughout the North American chain.” The Windsor Engine Plant is expected to continue producing Ford’s 6.8-liter V10 engine at least until the new contract expires, and the automaker has reportedly committed to making Oakville Assembly Complex the “primary builder of export vehicles internationally.”
As for Oakville’s demands for a shorter wage grow-in period, Unifor was unable to negotiate one, although legacy workers will receive an increase in pay and Unifor did not have to agree to temporary workers.
Unifor’s 6,700 Ford workers are expected to vote on whether to ratify the new labor contract this weekend.