Ford Authority

Unifor Working To Minimize Oakville Ford EV Delay Impact

Weeks ago, rumors surfaced that The Blue Oval had decided to delay production of both the planned three-row North American Ford Explorer EV and the next-generation Ford F-150 EV, a decision that the automaker officially confirmed early this month as it shifts its focus to smaller, cheaper all-electric models. Problem is, FoMoCo apparently didn’t tell the Canadian union Unifor about this move until shortly before that official announcement, which is an issue given the fact that the Explorer EV is slated to be built at the Oakville Assembly plant in that country. Unifor was understandably frustrated by this decision, and now, the Oakville plant will instead seemingly be idle for a long period of time after Ford Edge production ends, which will have far-reaching impacts beyond that plant. However, the union is also working to minimize the impact that this delay will have on its own workforce.

“We have not taken any of this lightly. The minute we received word of the change in plans, we got to work,” Unifor said in a statement. “The union communicated its disappointment and frustration to the company, including directly to CEO Jim Farley. We reminded Ford executives that there is a lot at stake in this transition to future electric vehicle production, not the least of which are the good jobs you, the members, and your families expect and deserve. This message we delivered was heard loud and clear.”

For now, Unifor is prioritizing ways to find solutions to address the challenges stemming from this delay, and has been in talks with Ford for weeks now. The union aims to find a way to lessen the impact on its worker’s job security and pay, and is looking at a variety of options including enhanced income security, new work opportunities, and even shortening the retooling timeline for the Oakville plant.

As Ford Authority previously reported, this delay could “at least triple” the time on layoff for that facility’s 3,200 union workers. Originally, those workers were expected to be laid off between six and eight months during the retooling process, but now, that will reportedly stretch to somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5 years. Some of those workers will receive Supplemental Unemployment Benefits (SUB) equivalent to 70 percent of their wages, but these terms vary based on seniority.

We’ll have more on this situation soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Nico

    The Oakville Assembly Complex used to produce the Edge, the Flex, the Nautilus and the MKT all on the same assembly line. What really needed to happen was; that the new Nautilus AND the new (“only for China”) Edge should have been assembled at the OAC in ICE, Hybrid, PHEV and BEV, other manufacturers are currently doing just that! It’s called pivot…to the consumers wants!

  2. anonymous guest

    They should investigate scrapping EV plans there and doing a unibody full-size pickup. Something that can push crew-cab prices profitably under $40k usd, to help in a market downturn. Cheap ice, hybrid, plug-in. If they make the Explorer transverse engine again, directly share drivetrains.


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