The strike in the auto sector was avoided throughout the country on Sunday, but it continues in the United States and is expected to have a political dimension this week with the expected visit of President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Members of the Unifor union, which represents employees at Canadian auto factories, approved a three-year agreement with American manufacturer Ford on Sunday, thus averting the risk of a walkout. .
“Congratulations. The votes have been counted and Unifor members at Ford of Canada have approved a three-year agreement that will bring big gains for auto workers,” said the X union, previously on Twitter.
Salaries must be increased by 15% over three years, including a 10% increase in the first year. The deal also includes other benefits and bonuses, including cost-of-living adjustments and better pensions.
It concerns more than 5,600 Ford employees in Canada, and should serve as a reference for Stellantis and General Motors as usual. The three American giants, nicknamed the “Big Three”, employ about 18,000 Unifor members.
In the United States, the first strike affecting all three manufacturers at the same time entered its second week on Friday, and hit General Motors and Stellantis.
About 38 spare parts distribution centers from these two groups are currently affected.
The reason, according to the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, is the lack of progress in union negotiations, while “real progress” has been made at Ford.
The UAW is specifically asking for a 40% salary increase over four years, which is equivalent to what group leaders have enjoyed in the past four years.
Invited to come to a picket line, Joe Biden, who quickly described himself as the leading supporter of American unions, had to go to Michigan on Tuesday, as a sign of “unity”.
The 80-year-old Democrat has, several times, publicly speculated that manufacturers should pass on their “record profits” to employees.
The president so far planned to spend next week on a trip to the West, but in the end he decided to scold his famous opponent Donald Trump, who also wants to be the champion of workers and groups of the laborer
The former Republican president, his party’s primary favorite for the 2024 presidential election, announced his visit to a picket line on Wednesday, also in Michigan, a key electoral state.