Canada: Ford avoids strike by auto factory workers

Unifor, the Canadian union representing 18,000 employees, managed to reach a tentative agreement on Tuesday, avoiding new stoppages that would impact the industry.

Canadian workers at Ford, Stellantis and GM will not go on strike. The automobile company managed to reach a tentative agreement this Tuesday with Unifor, the organization that represents 18,000 workers in Canada, thus avoiding joining the strike called on Friday by the Union Auto Workers (UAW), the union that represents the almost 13,000 employees in the United States.

Unifor had threatened to picket Ford's three main factories in Canada, which employ about 5,600 workers, if the company did not reach an agreement with them by Tuesday, September 19 at 11:59 p.m. To do this, they decided to use the "most powerful weapon" they had: the strike. This was stated by the union itself in a letter they sent to the workers announcing that they had reached an agreement with Ford Motor Company:

We leveraged our union’s most powerful weapon: the right to strike. The exceptional commitment of our bargaining committee ensured that negotiations were able to progress, while our strike plan was ready. Having so many union members working together to support their bargaining team on the shop floor and online was incredible to see. We showed Ford Motor Company what solidarity looks like.

Ford negotiates the main points of the agreement with its Canadian workers

As reported by Fox Business, among the demands that Unifor demanded from Ford Motor Company was a 36% wage increase for workers over the next four years as well as improvements in pensions, aid in the transition to electric vehicles and investment commitments on the part of Ford.

It is not known exactly what the final conditions of the agreement will be, although the national president of Unifor, Lana Payne, assured in a press release that all the concerns of the employees of this plant had been addressed :

We believe that this tentative agreement, endorsed by the entire master bargaining committee, addresses all of the items raised by members in preparation for this round of collective bargaining. We believe that this agreement will solidify the foundations on which we will continue to bargain gains for generations of autoworkers in Canada.

Meanwhile, the situation with the UAW continues the same as it did a few days ago, when the strike was called and an agreement has not been reached between the union and the main automobile factories. The strikes, as is the case with other unions, continue to affect the nation's economy . In fact, Expansión reports, Bank of America assured that the workers' pickets could cost GM $16 million; Ford $20 million and Stellantis $33 million per day.