Unifor’s Tentative Deal with Ford Motor Co. of Canada: A User-Friendly Overview
Unifor’s recent tentative deal with Ford Motor Co. of Canada is packed with exciting benefits for its members. This article will walk you through the key highlights of the agreement in a clear and descriptive manner.
Immediate Wage Increases and Engine Production Capacity Commitment
The tentative deal includes immediate wage increases of up to 22 percent for Unifor’s members. This means starting workers will see a 22 percent jump in their wages, while those already at the top of the pay grid will experience a 13 percent increase. Additionally, Ford has made a commitment to boost engine production capacity in Windsor, Ontario.
An Enhanced Retirement Plan and Core Priorities Alignment
Unifor’s core priorities have been successfully addressed in this three-year agreement. Members currently on defined contribution pensions plans will be transferred to the superior defined benefits plan in 2025. Unifor’s President Lana Payne and officials expressed their satisfaction with the agreement, stating that it provides significant gains for both active and retired members.
The Voting Process and Uncertainty
While the agreement has been unanimously approved by Unifor’s master bargaining committee, it is crucial for rank-and-file members to vote for its approval. Given the current labor climate and the high expectations resulting from UAW demands in the United States, the agreement is not a guaranteed success.
Wage Increases and Compression of the Previous Wage Grid
This deal comes with substantial wage increases. Starting workers will witness a 22 percent rise in Canadian dollars, while those already at the top-end of the pay grid will experience a 13 percent increase. Furthermore, the agreement compresses the previous wage grid, benefiting workers at all levels.
(Please note that the Canadian dollar is currently worth $0.74 in U.S. dollars.)
Signing Bonus and Improved Pension Plans
Active Ford members will receive a C$10,000 ($7,411 USD) signing bonus as part of the agreement. Additionally, it offers a return to defined benefits pension plans for workers hired after 2016. Members currently on defined contribution plans will have the opportunity to transfer to the more stable and beneficial defined benefits plan from January 1, 2025.
Support During Retooling Periods and Production Promises
The agreement also addresses Unifor’s priority to support workers during retooling periods. As part of this commitment, the supplemental unemployment base rate increases to 70 percent. Notably, this rate will remain in effect during the estimated eight-month retooling period for the Oakville Assembly Complex, which is scheduled to start next year.
In addition to these benefits, Ford has agreed to upgrades that will enable additional capacity for building the 7.3-liter engine at the Essex Engine Plant starting in late 2025. The production will begin in the first quarter of 2028.
To ensure that Unifor members have a clear understanding of the tentative agreement, information sessions will be held. Members will then have approximately 24 hours to vote on its approval. The union plans to share the results of the vote tomorrow.
Editor’s note: This story has corrected the exchange rate for U.S. to Canadian dollars. An earlier version had an incorrect exchange rate.