The Canadian Auto Workers has reached a tentative labor agreement over wages and benefits of 4,500 Ford Motor Co. workers in Canada, union president Ken Lewenza disclosed. The four-year tentative labor deal entails no base wage adjustments. It also entails paying hourly employees with C$2,000 in lump sums in the last three years of the contract, Lewenza said.
The agreement helped avert a labor strike at the Ford Edge assembly plant. Ford’s workers will conduct ratification votes this weekend, according to CAW officials. Once the labor deal is ratified, eligible employees will be given a C$3,000 ratification bonus. CAW said that in return for signing the agreement, Ford will create 600 new jobs at its Canadian operations. Lewenza described the agreement as a “damn good deal in these economic times."
According to CAW, many of the 600 new jobs will be assigned to Ford's Oakville assembly plant in Ontario, home to Ford Edge and Flex, as well as the Lincoln MKT and MKX. The 600 new jobs are open to Ford's laid off workers in Canada to fill in. CAW, however, said the labor agreement excludes any new or future products for Ford's plants.
The tentative labor agreement also extends the number of years that new employees will work at lower pay before gaining right to earn top-tier wages. The deal also calls for the suspension of cost-of-living adjustments until June 2016, according to the union. Lewenza remarked that the proposed deal meets the objective of the union, its members and of Ford.
He noted that they still have to iron out some local issues. CAW said Sunday that it was focusing on negotiations with Ford as it hoped to ink an agreement that would be used as benchmarks for deals with other Detroit 3 carmakers General Motors and Chrysler Group.