Ford narrowly avoided a strike from Canada’s Unifor union and now negotiations with FCA are down to the wire.
Unless a deal is reached by 11:59 p.m. tonight, approximately 9,000 employees could go on strike.
This would be a blow to the automaker as it would shutter both the Brampton and Windsor assembly plants. They’re responsible for building the Chrysler 300, Pacifica and Voyager as well as the Dodge Charger and Challenger.
It remains unclear if a strike can be averted, but a bargaining update released by the union yesterday said “FCA continues to challenge the union on key elements of the pattern agreement [set with Ford], including on items relating to wages and lump sums, health care benefits and other matters.” The union also said they want “firm commitments on facility investments and product allocations.”
The latter is undoubtedly a contentious issue as FCA recently axed the Dodge Grand Caravan and officials have previously suggested the Chrysler 300 was living on borrowed time. On top of that, the third shift at Windsor Assembly was eliminated over the summer.
Given all of this, the union encouraged members to “be prepared if strike action becomes necessary.” However, Unifor also said they remain hopeful that a tentative agreement can be reached before the deadline.
As we reported last month, Ford and Unifor reached an agreement that saved the Oakville assembly plant. The facility will eventually produce five electric vehicles with the first model rolling off the line in 2025.
The three-year agreement with Ford also called for wage increases, improved benefits and a $7,250 CAD ($5,517 USD) productivity and quality bonus. The union is also seeking similar concessions from FCA.