Negotiations between Ford and the union representing its 6,700 autoworkers went past the midnight deadline Monday, but a tentative agreement has been reached.
Following the tense round of talks that ended just before 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, Unifor president Jerry Dias announced the automaker has agreed to a $700 million product investment in Canada.
Ford workers at Ontario operations in Bramalea, Oakville and Windsor were prepared to walk off the job if a deal was not reached.
Dias said the majority of the $700 million investment will be going to one of its two engine plants in Windsor. He said the investment will put the plants “at the top of the food chain for powertrain operations.” The other plant will still build 6.8-litre engines, but that will eventually be phased out, Dias said.
How the agreement will affect employment at the Windsor plants was not revealed. Dias and Windsor Local 200 president Chris Taylor said they wanted to present the agreement to union members first. Dias said the deal includes wage increases for the company’s “legacy” workers.
Ford’s plant in Oakville will not be getting any new products, but Dias said Ford secured “a framework to get us to the next investment,” which he added will include refreshes to the Ford Edge and the Lincoln MKX.
Union members will have the final say on the agreement when a vote is held at local membership meetings on Saturday and Sunday.
Unifor was seeking a deal similar to the ones reached with General Motors and Fiat Chrysler.