Canadian labor union Unifor announced on Sunday that its members have voted to ratify a new contract with Ford Motor (F.N). This is a relief for the automaker, which has been engaged in a separate dispute with its U.S. union over better pay and benefits. Unifor represents approximately 5,600 Canadian auto workers and the new three-year collective agreement has been approved.
Ford has offered the union members wage increases of up to 25% in the new contract. The agreement includes a 10% wage increase in the first year, followed by 2% and 3% increases in the second and third years, respectively. Additionally, all employees on the active roll of the company will receive a $10,000 productivity and quality bonus.
Earlier this week, Ford reached a last-minute deal to prevent walkouts at its Canadian operations. However, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union expanded its strikes against General Motors (GM.N) and Stellantis (STLAM.MI) in the U.S. On the other hand, the UAW has made progress in talks with Ford, but workers at the automaker’s Wayne, Michigan, assembly plant will continue to strike.
Unifor had demanded improved wages, pensions, support in the transition to electric vehicles, and additional investment commitments from Ford. While a deal has been reached with Ford, Unifor has yet to reach agreements with Stellantis and GM to avoid walkouts at their Canadian facilities.
The new contract covers Unifor members at Ford’s plants in Ontario, as well as its parts distribution centers in Bramalea and Paris, Ontario, and in Alberta. Unlike the UAW, Unifor chose Ford as its initial negotiation target, employing a pattern bargaining tactic to set the tone for subsequent deals with other companies.
Overall, this development signifies a positive outcome for Ford and its Canadian workforce, providing stability and addressing the demands of the labor union.
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