While negotiations between the three large automakers and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union are far from resolved, Ford Motor Company successfully averted a second strike in Canada after reaching a tentative labor agreement with Canada’s main auto workers’ union Unifor, the New York Times reported.
Just minutes before the 11:59 p.m. deadline on Tuesday, a deal between the company and Unifor’s 5,600 Ford workers was announced. While neither side disclosed the details of the agreement, the union said Ford presented a “substantive offer.”
Unifor national president Lana Payne said in a statement that the agreement solidifies “the foundations on which we will continue to bargain for gains for generations” of Canadian auto workers.
Talks between Unifor and automakers Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis, began on August 10 but were largely overshadowed by the UAW’s talks with the big three automakers in the United States.
Unifor chose to “target” Ford Motor Company, which has two engine plans and an assembly plant in Canada, for its talks hoping to secure the best deal it could before seeking agreements with General Motors and Stellantis.
However, Ford’s deal with Unifor will have little bearing on the strikes in the United States.
The UAW talks have seen little progress since the strikes began last Friday.
On Wednesday, UAW said it was reviewing a new offer from Stellantis, the company that owns Chrysler, Ram, and Jeep. However, the union declined to provide details of the offer.
UAW is asking for a 40 percent wage increase over four years. The companies countered by offering to raise wages by just over 20 percent.
The union is also seeking to allow more workers to qualify for pension plans. It also wants retirees covered by company-paid healthcare and shorter working hours, as well as other improvements.
UAW also wants to end the practice of paying new hires $17 an hour, which is far below the $32 an-hour union wage.