Canada’s Ford autoworkers in line for minimum 15% pay raise over 3 years, union says

The Ford Motor Co. of Canada offered a 10 per cent wage increase in the first year of its tentative agreement with Unifor, followed by increases of two per cent and three per cent for the second and third years, the Canadian union said on Saturday.

The agreement also includes a $10,000 Cdn productivity and quality bonus to all employees on the active roll of the company, as well as an increase in the monthly basic benefit and special allowance in all class codes across defined benefit and hybrid pension plans.

Ford workers in Canada are voting on the weekend on the labour agreement reached Tuesday night. The company has about 5,600 unionized employees in Canada, mainly in Oakville, Ont., and Windsor, Ont. Results of the ratification vote are expected on Sunday.

For some senior employees, the wage increases over the life of the contract vary from 19 per cent to 25 per cent, depending on the type of job, according to the details of the contract released by Unifor.

Unifor on Friday said its Ford leadership group has voted unanimously to support the tentative agreement.

Ford is also facing labour problems in the United States with a strike launched Sept. 15 by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which on Friday expanded strike action against General Motors and Stellantis to include their spare-parts distribution centres.

‘Serious issues’ remain in U.S.

UAW president Shawn Fain said on Friday that Ford had improved its contract offer, including boosting profit-sharing and agreeing to let workers strike over plant closures, but that the union still has “serious issues” with the company, and its workers would remain on strike at the automaker’s Wayne, Mich., assembly plant.

Fain said he expected talks to continue through the weekend.

Unlike the UAW, Unifor chose one of the Detroit Three as a “target” to negotiate with first — in this case, Ford — in a pattern-bargaining tactic used to set the tone for subsequent deals with other companies.

Unifor had sought improved wages and pensions, support in the transition to electric vehicles and additional investment commitments from Ford. The union is yet to reach a deal with Stellantis and General Motors to avoid walkouts at their Canadian facilities.

The UAW began strikes on Friday against 38 parts distribution centres across the U.S. at GM and Stellantis, extending its unprecedented, simultaneous strikes that began with one assembly plant in each of the Detroit Three. The additional facilities added about 5,600 workers to the 12,700 already on picket lines.

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