Ford Motor Co. of Canada and Unifor Reach Tentative Contract
Unifor’s tentative deal with Ford Motor Co. of Canada includes immediate wage increases of up to 22 percent and a commitment to added engine production capacity in Windsor, Ont.
The automaker has also pledged to transfer workers currently on defined contribution pensions plans to the superior defined benefits plan in 2025.
In a summary of bargaining gains shared with members ahead of a planned ratification vote, Unifor’s master bargaining committee said the agreement delivers on each of the union’s priorities.
“This three-year deal meets the extraordinary moment we are in. It addresses each of our core priorities and provides significant, and in some cases ground-breaking, gains for everyone — active and retired,” Unifor President Lana Payne and other officials wrote in an introductory note.
The tentative deal was unanimously approved by the union’s master bargaining committee, a day after an initial strike deadline had passed and six weeks after the start of bargaining.
Voting is currently underway to approve the agreement, but there is no guarantee due to the labor climate and high expectations created by UAW demands in the United States.
The deal offers considerable wage increases, pay hikes in each of the second and third years, and a compression of the previous wage grid.
Wages for starting workers will jump 22 percent, and for workers already at the top-end of the pay grid, wages will increase 13 percent.
Pay for workers at all levels will then rise two and three percent at the start of the second and third years.
The deal also halves the grow-in time for new workers, giving them 70 percent of high-end pay and shortening the grow-in time to four years.
Active Ford members will receive a C$10,000 ($7,411 USD) signing bonus, and workers hired after 2016 will have a path back to defined benefits pension plans.
Support for workers during retooling periods was another priority, with the supplemental unemployment base rate increasing to 70 percent.
The tentative deal also includes upgrades and additional capacity to build the 7.3-liter engine at the Essex Engine Plant starting in late 2025.
Unifor will hold information sessions to explain the tentative deal, and workers will have approximately 24 hours to vote on its approval.