One of the biggest sticking points in current negotiations between Ford and the United Auto Workers (UAW) in the U.S. remains the union’s desire to include the automaker’s future EV plants in its master contract, as FoMoCo wants to leave the decision to organize up to the workers at those facilities. Meanwhile, Ford and the Canadian union Unifor recently avoided a strike after reaching a new deal quite literally at the deadline. However, The Blue Oval is planning on opening multiple EV battery materials plants in Canada following multiple recent investments, and according to Automotive News Canada, Unifor also wants to make sure that those facilities are unionized as well.
Unifor has already opened an office in Bécancour – the site of multiple future EV battery materials plants backed by Ford and other entities including General Motors – which are scheduled to begin production in 2025. It specifically chose this site for that very reason, as it notes that it’s aiming to become a “major union force” in that particular area.
“We know the industry. We know how the companies and the different plants work. We know the kind of wages and benefits we can expect. So, we’re in the best place to bargain,” Unifor’s Quebec Director Daniel Cloutier told Automotive News Canada. “They should be all Unifor plants going forward, either the easy way or the hard way,” Unifor President Lana Payne said back in September.
Unifor is currently Canada’s largest automotive union, representing all Detroit Big Three automakers and around 100 suppliers, and now, it’s aiming to expand its reach to include the future EV battery materials plants, though it figures to face some competition from other organized labor groups such as Syndicat des Métallos.