Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Agreement approved by Ford, Canada averts strike

The union representing 5,600 workers at Ford Motor Company in Canada confirmed Sunday that its members have signed a three-year contract with the automaker.

Unifor and Ford reached an agreement in principle on Tuesday after extending the strike deadline by 24 hours. At the time, the union said the three-year agreement addressed all the issues raised by members during this round of negotiations.

On Sunday, the union said 54% of those who voted supported the proposed collective agreement, which includes a 15% increase over three years.

Lana Payne, Unifor’s national president, released a statement saying the deal will bring significant gains for auto workers.

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“Your negotiating team is pushing Ford of Canada on all fronts to reach a contract that fundamentally changes the pension plans, provides protections during the transition (to the de -electric vehicle) and includes the highest wage increase in the world. history of car negotiations in Canada,” said Mr.ME Payne.

“We know this is a difficult time for all workers and this agreement addresses the affordability issues that many people are facing today,” he said.

The contract provides for a salary increase of 10% in the first year, 2% in the second year, and 3% in the final year.

Meanwhile, the base rate of hourly wages will increase by 25% for those working in a skilled trade during the period of the agreement, the union said.

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The agreement also includes the reactivation of the cost of living allowance, a $10,000 bonus, two new paid holidays and pension increases, Unifor said.

That means a Ford employee with a one-year tenure will see their salary increase from $25.75 to $46.13 at the end of the three-year contract, which includes a cost-of-living allowance.

There are also provisions for further investment in the Essex, Ont., engine plant and “special transition measures (to electric vehicles)” for Unifor members at the Oakville assembly plant, also in Ontario.

With the agreement with Ford approved, Unifor can now try to replicate this agreement with other major automakers, Stellantis and General Motors. The union has not yet announced which automaker it will choose for negotiations.

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In the United States, workers at General Motors and Stellantis factories participated in limited strikes and expanded the action to 38 locations in 20 states on Friday.

Nation World News Desk
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