Unifor sets sights on General Motors after successful negotiation with Ford
DETROIT — Unifor, the union representing approximately 4,300 Canadian auto workers at three GM facilities in Canada, has ratified a new three-year labor contract with Ford. Following this accomplishment, the union plans to direct its attention towards negotiating a pattern agreement with GM.
Unifor President Lana Payne emphasized the union’s strong bargaining position with GM due to the factory in Oshawa, Ontario, operating at full capacity to produce profitable Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks.
“While I anticipate challenging negotiations ahead, I am determined to ensure that our union is strategically positioned to progress this pattern agreement for the benefit of all our active and retired members,” Payne stated.
The newly ratified deal with Ford includes a significant increase in base hourly pay for production workers, amounting to nearly 20% over three years. Trade workers will see an even higher increase of over 25%. Additionally, permanent workers will receive a $10,000 bonus, and a cost-of-living adjustment will be implemented to align wages with inflation.
Although Ford presents the agreement as a 15% wage increase over the three-year term, the union clarifies that this figure does not account for compounded annual increases or the initial cost-of-living adjustment. These factors should result in higher actual wages for workers.
Unifor has managed to avoid strikes against any of the Detroit automakers thus far, distinguishing itself from its U.S. counterpart, the United Auto Workers. In contrast, the UAW has been on strike for 11 days, leading to targeted factory and warehouse shutdowns at GM, Ford, and Stellantis, manufacturer of Jeep, Chrysler, Ram, and other vehicles.