Canadian labor union Unifor said Sunday its members voted to ratify a new contract with Ford Motor, a relief for the Detroit automaker, which is locked in a separate battle with its US union over demands for to better pay and benefits.
Unifor, which represents about 5,600 Canadian autoworkers, said its members at Ford have ratified a new three-year collective agreement.
Ford has offered union members a wage increase of up to 25 percent in its new contract. The agreement provides for a 10 percent wage increase for the first year followed by increases of 2 percent and 3 percent in the second and third years and a $10,000 productivity and quality bonus to all employees on the company’s active roster.
Ford reached a last-minute deal last week that prevented walkouts at its Canadian operations. On Friday, the United Automobile Workers union announced the expansion of its US strikes against General Motors and Stellantis, the parent of Chrysler, Jeep and Ram.
But the UAW held off on expanding its US strike against Ford, saying it had made real progress in talks with the company. Workers at the automaker’s Wayne, Mich., assembly plant will remain on strike.
Unifor has demanded improved wages and pensions, support for the transition to electric vehicles and further investment commitments from Ford. The union has yet to reach an agreement with Stellantis and GM to prevent walkouts at their Canadian facilities.
Ford’s new deal covers Unifor members at the company’s plants in Ontario, as well as its parts distribution centers in Bramalea and Paris, Ontario, and in Alberta.
Unlike the UAW, Unifor chose one of the Detroit Three as a “target” to negotiate with first – in this case, Ford – in a bargaining tactic used to set the tone for subsequent deals with the others. company.