Canadian Auto Workers to Vote Sunday on Ford Contract

The tentative deal includes a commitment for Ford’s Windsor engine plant and five electric vehicles for its Oakville facility.

The North American International Auto Show in January 2019.

Canadian union Unifor has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with the Ford Motor Company.  Represented workers will vote on the deal Sunday.

Throughout negotiations, union leaders have been looking for Ford to commit products to facilities in need of new assignments and make its first electric vehicle investment in the country. Unifor president Jerry Dias says this deal accomplishes that goal, with Ford agreeing to commit production of five electric vehicles to its Oakville, Ontario assembly plant.

“The UAW in the United States have the same difficulties as us.” — Jerry Dias, Unifor

“With the first one rolling off the assembly line in 2025 [and] with a fifth vehicle rolling off the assembly line in 2028.” says Dias, “We’ve also secured the assembling of batteries that will go into these vehicles.”

Dias says an investment from the Canadian government helped secure the commitment from Ford. He says details on that involvement will be shared at a later date. 

The principle deal also sees Ford commit production of a 6.8 liter motor to its WIndsor engine plant.

Officials say the new contract covers a three year term — framing it to expire at the same time as Ford’s current deal with the United Autoworkers Union. Dias says he thinks it will create an opportunity for US and Canadian negotiators to work together in 2023.

“The UAW in the United States have the same difficulties as us,” says Dias. “It really is a challenge about how we deal, and how we are going to deal in the long term, about the migration of investments to Mexico.”

Dias says Fiat-Chrysler will be Unifor’s next target in pattern bargaining, once an agreement with Ford is ratified. 

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  • Alex McLenon
    Alex McLenon is a Reporter with 101.9 WDET. McLenon is a graduate of Wayne State University, where he studied Media Arts & Production and Broadcast Journalism.