Canadian union Unifor and Ford, FCA, and GM have been in negotiations for a new contract since August 12th, but those talks haven’t happened without a bit of drama. Most notably, the labor negotiations have caused a bit of uncertainty surrounding the future of the Ford Oakville Assembly Plant. As Ford Authority recently reported, Lincoln Nautilus production will end at the plant in July 2024, while the next-gen Ford Edge, also produced in Oakville, has reportedly been cancelled.
Now, Unifor members have voted to approve strike action if it’s necessary to secure fair contract settlements, according to a statement from the union. A total of 96.4 percent of union members at Ford voted in favor of the action, while large percentages of Fiat Chrysler (98.4 percent) and General Motors (95.3 percent) followed suit. A total of 20,000 Canadian auto workers are represented by Unifor.
“Our members voted overwhelmingly to support their bargaining committees and our bargaining priorities including job security, product commitments, and economic gains for all members,” Unifor national president Jerry Dias told CBC News. “We will continue to push our agenda at the bargaining table, but remind government that they have an active role to play in securing our auto industry’s future. A future made in Canada.”
Unifor has not yet announced which automaker it’s designating as its strike target, but plans to do so by September 8th. The union will then continue negotiations with the company until a settlement is reached, hopefully before the current contracts expire on September 21st.
“It really is about the company that’s prepared and understands what our economic needs are [and] understands strategically that it’s in their best interest to have a footprint here in Canada for the short and long term,” Dias said.