Ford and Unifor have been negotiating a new labor contract for a couple of weeks now since the Canadian union chose The Blue Oval as its pattern agreement target. However, despite incoming CEO Jim Farley’s optimism on the matter, talks went right down to the wire, as the current labor agreement was scheduled to end at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on September 21st. Regardless, both sides continued working on a deal past the deadline and managed to make it happen.
Ford announced today that it has reached a tentative agreement with Unifor on a three-year national labor contract covering nearly 5,400 unionized employees in Canada. The agreement is subject to ratification by Ford-Unifor members. To respect the ratification process, Ford of Canada will not discuss the specifics of the tentative agreement.
Unifor National President Jerry Dias did share some details, however. Dias said that Ford will invest $1.95 billion in Ford’s Canadian plants, including $1.8 billion toward the production of five electric vehicles at the Ford Oakville Assembly Plant and an engine contract that could lead to new jobs at the Ford Windsor Engine Plant.
Prior to the agreement, the future of Ford’s Oakville plant, where the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus are produced, was in serious doubt. As Ford Authority recently reported, Nautilus production will end at the plant in July 2024, while the next-gen Edge, also produced in Oakville, has reportedly been cancelled.
Recently, we reported that an overwhelming majority of Unifor members had voted in favor of strike action if it was deemed necessary to secure fair contract settlements with the Big 3 Detroit automakers, which have been ongoing since August 12th. It’s not yet known if Ford and Unifor agreed to a three or four-year deal, the former of which was what the union was targeting in talks.
Once the Ford and Unifor deal is agreed to by union members, it will serve as a starting point for the union’s negotiations with Fiat Chrysler and General Motors.