September 22, 2020
TORONTO—Unifor’s master bargaining committee has reached an historic tentative agreement with Ford Motor Company, averting a strike at its Canadian operations, after extending last night’s midnight deadline and bargaining through the night.
"I'm very pleased to announce that on behalf of the more than 6,000 members who work at Ford Motor Company, we have negotiated $1.95 billion of investments to retool the Oakville complex to build five models of electric vehicles and bring new product to the engine plant in Windsor," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.
"Today is an historic day. We are not only talking about solidifying the footprint of the auto industry in the short term, but for the long term. I think it's fair to say that as an organization we hit a home run,” said Dias.
Dias shared more information at a news conference streamed live on Facebook. While details of the tentative agreement will be presented to members at a series of virtual ratification meetings over the weekend, the deal includes significant commitments for Ford’s Canadian manufacturing facilities.
"Up until today, of the $300 billion announced globally in EV investments as the auto industry transforms from combustible engines to battery-electric vehicles, not one nickel had been allocated Canada. But with today's announcement, that changes," Dias said.
“I am proud of this bargaining team and grateful for the support and solidarity from our members over these past few weeks of intense talks as we worked hard to set a pattern that secures future jobs for our members, and makes significant wage and benefit gains.”
Dias thanked both federal and provincial governments for funding commitments that were key to landing the new investment, as part of developing a national auto strategy to secure jobs in the sector.
Dias also announced that Fiat Chrysler will be the next Detroit Three bargaining target.
The news conference is available for download here.
A digital media kit including background on Canada’s auto industry and details on plant locations, products produced and number of workers represented by Unifor can be found on this website.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For media inquiries or to arrange interviews after the news conference via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor’s Director of Communications, Natalie Clancy at Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell).