Bargaining Update #6
This week, our members at Ford Motor Company ratified a new collective agreement, with 81 per cent of members voting in favour. As our National President Jerry Dias said: “The vote result not only demonstrates our members’ overwhelming support for their bargaining committees and their new collective agreement, but also shows Unifor members have a clear vision of a strong and prosperous Canadian auto sector.”
Summaries of the Ford master agreement, and various local agreements, are publicly available at www.unifor.org/AutoTalks2020. The summary document for the Ford master agreement, which sets the economic pattern for negotiations at FCA and General Motors, is directly accessible here.
FCA Talks Begin
During a short two-day break following the Ford ratification, members of the Unifor-FCA bargaining committees travelled to Toronto to begin negotiations with FCA. Talks between our union and the company officially resumed on Thursday October 1, with various master, local and sub-committee meetings having taken place over the last 24 hours. Committee members are working hard to not only ensure FCA follows the economic pattern set by Ford, but to address important site-specific FCA matters in Windsor, Brampton, Etobicoke and across the parts depots. Investments at FCA facilities remains a key priority for the union in these talks.
The Parties are working toward a deadline of 11:59 p.m. on October 14.
More information on the progress of talks will be available over the coming week. Please stay tuned.
Public support for Ford agreement
The ratification of the new Unifor-Ford agreement, which included $1.95 billion worth of investments including a commitment to transform Oakville into one of the few mass production Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) facilities in North America, rested entirely with the Unifor membership. Their support for the deal was strong.
The significance of the investment on the future of auto manufacturing in Canada was not lost on other industry leaders and analysts.
“We’ve had a lot of healthy investments in existing plants. This one is transformational. It allows us to tell our story differently. Before our pitch was potential. Now our pitch is reality. What better endorsement of everything we can potentially do than Ford Motor Company saying, ‘Fine, let’s do it.’”
– Flavio Volpe, President, Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (Windsor Star, Sept. 29, 2020)
“It’s terrific news that Ford of Canada and Unifor have reached a tentative agreement on a three-year national labour contract… I believe the pivot to electric vehicle production will prove to be historic, a ‘homerun,’ as Unifor President Jerry Dias called it.”
– Rob Burton, Mayor, Town of Oakville (Office of the Mayor Statement, Sept. 22, 2020)
“It’s not just Ford’s supply chain… This will enable other producers to locate electrified vehicles in their plants in Canada as well.”
– Kirstin Dziczek, Center for Automotive Research (Globe and Mail, Sept. 22, 2020)
“We are in the game in a way that we haven’t been in a long time.”
– Dmitri Anastakis, Professor, University of Toronto (Globe and mail, Sept. 22, 2020)
“This is the [investment] that says if we’re ever going to emerge as one of the main players or as the leader in EV production, this could very well serve as the catalyst for that.”
– Brendan Sweeney, Managing Director, Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing (Automotive News Canada, Sept. 24, 2020)
“By introducing battery electric vehicle production at Oakville Assembly Complex, we are cementing our Canadian operations as a leader in advanced automotive manufacturing.”
– Dean Stoneley, CEO, Ford Motor Company of Canada (Company statement, Sept. 28, 2020)
The Union will continue to report on progress of talks with members over the coming week, and will relay as much information on the status of talks as possible. Our objective is to be as open and transparent with members as possible, without undermining the integrity of the bargaining process. Please stay tuned for further updates