Ford Canada workers represented by private-sector labor union Unifor voted over the weekend to ratify the new 4-year contract finalized late last month, according to The Detroit News. Of Unifor’s roughly-6,400 Ford workers, about 58 percent voted in favor of the new deal, including 56 percent of production workers and 72 percent of those in the skilled trades.
Unifor’s new Ford contract secures investments totaling $723 million Canadian (about $533 million US), with CA$613 million earmarked for Ford’s Windsor complex and CA$100 million set aside for Oakville Assembly, the latter investment aimed at supporting the production of updated versions of the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers. The Ford Flex, also built at Oakville, is set to be discontinued in 2020, with the future of its Lincoln MKT stablemate uncertain. Under the new contract, Oakville will be the sole producer of the Edge and MKX in North America, and primary producer of the models for export markets worldwide.
Meanwhile, most – if not all – of the Windsor complex’s CA$613 million is expected to go to the Essex Engine Plant, partly to support a new, large-displacement engine for the Ford Super Duty anticipated for a 2019 or 2020 debut.
Unifor’s new Ford contract is expected to create or retain some 500 jobs in total.
“With the Ford ratification, our union has secured more good, unionized jobs at all of the Detroit Three automakers,” said Unifor President Jerry Dias in a release. “We solidified a footprint for the future of [automotive production] in Canada and none of this would have happened if our union was not willing to fight for principles and to do it together.”
Unifor’s new labor deal with Ford Motor Company was patterned after contracts ratified in the prior weeks with General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. It passed with less support than those deals; nearly 65 percent of Unifor’s GM membership voted in favor of their contract, while 70 percent of Unifor’s FCA workforce supported their new deal.