Last week, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union began a targeted strike against Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis after the sides remained far apart on terms defining their next four-year contract, though talks remain a work in progress. However, the Detroit Big Three automakers are also in the midst of negotiating a new deal with the Canadian union Unifor, talks that the sides have called “complex” as the future of automotive manufacturing plants in that country remains up in the air amid the ongoing EV transition. Unifor selected Ford as its target company to negotiate with early in the process, but just last week, rejected the automaker’s first two offers, which it said “did not come close to meeting our expectations.” Now, it seems as if a second strike may be on the horizon, according to Automotive News Canada.
“At this late stage in the negotiations, the union and the company remain far apart,” said Unifor President Lana Payne. With the current deal between the union and automakers set to expire at 11:59 pm tonight, Payne noted that members should prepare for “all scenarios, including strike action,” though she did add that the two sides continue to talk and have made some progress over the past few days.
Last month, the Unifor bargaining committee received overwhelming support for a strike, with 98.9 percent of its 5,700 members voting in favor of such an action, if it becomes necessary. For now, that would only affect Ford, as Unifor extended its contracts with Stellantis and General Motors as it focuses on hammering out a new three-year deal with The Blue Oval before moving on to those two automakers.
Unifor hasn’t revealed any of its specific demands – nor discussed what Ford has offered thus far – but is reportedly seeking pay increases, higher pensions, and greater support for its workers as the automaker continues to transition its existing facilities for the production of EVs and EV components.