Unifor, Ford Motor reach tentative deal to invest in Oakville, Windsor facilities

Marco Green
September 23, 2020

"There's no question that that will give our plant the type of stability, just frankly flowing from the negotiated settlement with the 7.3 litre back in 2016, so I will argue this is another home run for the facility".

The three-year deal includes investing $1.95 billion (US$1.46 billion) in two Ontario facilities, Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, said at a press conference in Toronto.

The deal will also see the creation of battery production in the province for the next generation of vehicles.

Unifor's Ford members will vote online on the agreement Sunday. The plant was at risk of closing because the Edge sport-utility vehicle made there has an uncertain future. The commitment was a key part of the agreement, Dias said. "We know that there will be incredible opportunities for young people in Windsor for quite a while". Dias thanked the premier and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for their help securing the contract. Neither Dias nor Ford identified which electric models will be produced in Oakville.

The exact amount of the initial investment is now being negotiated, but the report notes that the subject of retooling the plant for electric vehicle and battery production is a key component of the ongoing labor negotiations.

Dias said Ford's Windsor engine plants will begin producing a new 6.8-litre engine in 2022 for the F-150 pickup truck line-up and for the Ford Mustang.

"We have been talking for decades about having a national auto strategy in this country, and for some reason, we can never seem to get everybody in the room at the same time", Dias said. "To respect the ratification process, Ford of Canada will not discuss the specifics of the tentative agreement".

Once agreed to by union members, Ford's deal on new product lines, shifts, wages, pensions and benefits will set the tone for upcoming talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors.

In the U.S., GM's union workers went on strike previous year. Results will probably be announced on September 28, Unifor spokeswoman Natalie Clancy said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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