The union representing autoworkers at Ford’s Canadian operations says there has been “minor progress” in what it describes as “painfully slow” negotiations.
Unifor negotiators are looking for a deal similar to the one’s reached with General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, which included wage hikes and increased investment in local plants.
Auto workers at Fiat-Chrysler voted to accept a new four-year contract on October 16th. Fiat-Chrysler agreed to invest $331 million in its Canadian operations, with the majority of that money going to the auto maker’s assembly plant in Brampton. They have also committed to building a hybrid vehicle in Windsor as well. Employees can expect two wage hikes of two per cent, plus signing bonuses totaling $12,000. Workers will receive $6,000 up front, followed by $2,000 lump-sum payments over the next three years.
The union says there has been some progress with subcommittees in the Ford negotiations, but there remains a “majority of issues” that need to be settled.
Unifor indicated that Ford negotiators have said the deals with the other two automakers can’t be replicated without offsetting the cost elsewhere. According to the union, Ford says those offsets would include lower wages for new temporary full-time workers, and the cancellation of its long-term care benefits program.
If a deal isn’t reached before midnight on Monday, Unifor has threatened job action.