Things are looking up for the Canadian automobile manufacturing sector—at least as far as Ford Motor Company is concerned. Unifor says Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd. has agreed to spend nearly $2 billion on its Canadian plants as part of collective bargaining negotiations and to start manufacturing electric cars in Oakville. Only a few days ago Unifor President Jerry Dias was expressing concern that with the expiry of crossover vehicle production in Oakville there was nothing in the pipeline.
Under the tentative deal, Unifor National President Jerry Dias says $1.95 billion will be invested in Ford’s Canadian plants, including $1.8 billion toward the production of five electric vehicles in Oakville, and an engine contract that could yield new jobs in Windsor, Ont.
Dias says the 6,300 union workers at Ford will vote on the deal this weekend.
Workers had previously voted to support a strike if a deal could not be reached by that deadline, with the future of the Oakville, Ont. plant potentially on the line.
Once agreed to by union members, Ford’s deal on new products lines, shifts, wages, pensions and benefits will set the tone for upcoming talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors. The federal and provincial governments have already indicated their financial support to the E-car venture. Dias says the batteries will be made here in Canada using Canadian nickel and Cadmium.