Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union in Canada, has announced that union members have ratified a new three-year collective agreement with Ford of Canada. The new contract includes increased wages and pension improvements, as well as investments for existing Ford production facilities. With the new Ford contract now established, negotiations between Unifor and the two remaining Big Detroit automakers, GM and Stellantis, can proceed, with the new Ford contract to be used as a template in negotiations.
Unifor membership ratified the new agreement by a relatively slim margin, with 54 percent of the 5,600 Ford workers voting in favor.
“Our bargaining team showed exceptional leadership and successfully pushed Ford of Canada on every front,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “This contract will change lives in a profound way. It fundamentally transforms pension plans, provides protections during the EV transition and includes the highest wage increases in the history of Canadian auto bargaining.”
Highlights include a 20-percent base hourly wage increase for production workers and a 25-percent increase for trade workers over the lifetime of the agreement. By the end of the agreement, a top-rate production assembler will be paid CA$44.52 per hour, in addition to a forecasted CA$1.51 COLA. A journeyperson skilled trades worker will be paid CA$55.97 per hour, in addition to a forecasted CA$1.61 COLA. Hourly wages for production workers at Ford of Canada is now CA$11.00 per hour higher than that of comparable U.S. autoworkers at Ford.
In addition, wage progression was reduced from eight to four years, while production workers retiring at 30 years will see their monthly pension increase from CA$3,545 to CA$3,795. Investments will be made at the Essex Engine Plant, and a Special EV Transition measure was negotiated for members at the Oakville assembly plant.
The new Unifor contract will expire on September 20th, 2026.
The contract ratification arrives as members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union in the United States continue to hold strikes against all three of the Big Detroit automakers. The UAW opted not to expand its strike against Ford last week.