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Unifor extends bargaining deadline with Ford Motor Company

Unifor is extending negotiations with Ford Motor Company for another 24 hours receiving a “substantive offer” just minutes before the strike deadline, according to an update from the union.

The update says bargaining will continue throughout the night, but Unifor members should continue to “maintain strike readiness.”

Unifor announced Ford Motor Company as the union’s Detroit Three target company in its current round of negotiations with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis on Aug. 29.

“Yes, there have been constructive talks with Ford and we have made progress in important areas. Today with just hours to go before the expiry a deal is still not in place,” Payne said in a video update as negotiations were ongoing. “We are not where we need to be on key priority issues. Pensions and the wage package are atop that list.” 

Unifor national president said at the time the union was encouraged by the company's transparency and that Ford publicly stated their desire to lead.

Workers at Detroit Three automakers voted overwhelmingly in favour of allowing the union to call a strike if bargaining committees can't secure new collective agreements by the strike deadline. 

“A lot can happen in the final hours of deadline bargaining, and there’s still a lot of negotiating to do,” Payne said. “But we know where we stand here, and we are not wavering from our core priorities, especially pension improvements.”

The union focused on four key issues during bargaining: pensions, strong wage packages, investments and supports for the transition into electric vehicles.

“The last time we had a strike with Ford Motor Company was 1990. There’s a lot of work still to do and still some time to do it. But what I can confirm is if there is a strike, this will be a total strike. Every single one of Unifor’s 5,600 members at Ford in Canada will be on picket lines,” Payne said.

“Our Oakville Assembly Plant, our Windsor Power Train Operations, our parts distribution centres, our office and technical units – everyone together.”

Payne said the union has been keeping a close eye on ongoing negotiations between the UAW and Detroit Three, who are currently on strike in the United States.

“Our job, indeed our obligation is to get the best deal possible to Canadian auto workers, a deal that reflects these extraordinary times,” she said. 

The current batch of collective agreements, which cover 18,000 autoworkers was set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18.  The company made an offer at the 11th hour the union is now reviewing. Top Stories

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