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Unifor locks-in pattern with Ford

TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2016 /CNW/ - On the verge of a strike, Unifor reaches a tentative agreement with Ford to secure its Canadian manufacturing footprint and reinforce the economic pattern established with General Motors (GM).

"Despite Ford's efforts to push concessions and reject the pattern set with GM, our bargaining committees were firm and focused on reaching our priorities," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias who led the final set of negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers. "This tentative agreement secures the pattern and some. It includes a significant investment for Canadian made Ford products, it lays the path for a long-term footprint and it offers well-deserved increases for our members and gains for retirees."

Unifor successfully negotiated contracts with all of the Detroit Three automakers that adhere to an economic pattern. The pattern contract includes: investment commitments to secure good jobs for the future, 2% general wage increases in year one and four of the contract, a $6,000 ratification bonus, $2,000 lump sums payments in year two, three and four, benefit plan improvements and an enhanced wage progression offering thousands of dollars in increased earnings for new hires.

"This was a challenging round of talks for all of us, but we kept our eyes on the prize and secured an offer that maintains and strengthens a future for our members," said the Unifor Ford Bargaining Committee Chair, Chris Taylor from Local 200 in Windsor. "The pattern and the achievements in this contract are exactly the kind of security our members needed."

Unifor members will have the final say on the tentative agreement when a vote is held at local membership meetings on Saturday November 5 and Sunday, November 6.

In total Ford employs more than 6,700 Unifor members in Bramalea, Edmonton, Oakville, and Windsor. Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including about 23,050 members at the Detroit Three automakers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.