Ford, Unifor to bargain past strike deadline and keep output going

In a statement, Ryan Kantautas, Ford of Canada vice-president of human resources, confirmed that talks were ongoing.

“We will continue to work collaboratively with Unifor to negotiate a globally competitive collective agreement,” he said.

In a late Monday post on its website urging its members to stay on the job “until told otherwise,” Unifor Local 707 said the two sides were “close to the end zone.” Local 707 represents workers at the Oakville factory.

The decision to bargain beyond the deadline comes a day after The Toronto Star reported that the federal government would be willing to spend about $380 million to help the company retool the Oakville plant to build electric vehicles. Ford currently builds the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus crossovers there, though Oakville is not expected to build either of them beyond 2023.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said during a news conference Monday that the provincial government is also willing to contribute a “massive amount” to EV production.

Talks also cover Ford’s Windsor, Ontario, engine plants, as well as parts distribution centers in Brampton, Ontario, and Edmonton. The engine plants are of particular importance to Ford, as they build V-8 engines for Ford’s popular F-series pickups and Mustang pony car.

Dias is scheduled to hold a news conference about the contract talks at 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday. 

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