Canadian Ford workers approve new contract: union

Sun Nov 6, 2016 8:35pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Allison Martell

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian workers at Ford Motor Co voted to approve a new four-year contract with the automaker, the Unifor union said on Sunday, wrapping up months of contract talks.

The union said in a release that 58 percent voted to approve the deal, but Oakville local president Dave Thomas said only 45 percent of members at his unit supported the agreement.

"Bargaining is always tough, but reaching this contract was no small feat," said Chris Taylor, who chaired the union's Ford bargaining committee, in a release.

Talks kicked off in August between Unifor and General Motors Co, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford. Workers approved contracts at GM and Fiat Chrysler in September and October.

The labor agreements each promise hundreds of millions in new investment in the automakers' Canadian operations, in some cases contingent on government support.

The Ford contract closely resembles the GM and Fiat Chrysler agreements, and covers workers at Ford's Windsor, Ontario, engine plants and some office and warehouse employees in Windsor and Edmonton, Alberta, as well as the Oakville assembly.

Workers will get $12,000 in bonus payments over four years, and 2 percent raises in the first and fourth years of the agreement.

Ford has promised to invest C$713 million ($533 million) in its Canadian operations, including C$613 million in Windsor, the union said in a pamphlet distributed ahead of the vote. The investment will update production of a V8 engine and add assembly of a new fuel-efficient motor for large pickup trucks, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.   Continued...

Unifor Local 444 union members picket outside the Integram (Magna) Seating plant after voting to reject a tentative agreement in Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada, November 6, 2016.  REUTERS/Rebecca Cook