Canadian auto workers seeking a new contract took the more traditional route, and it turned out to be the quicker one, as Unifor and Ford Motor Co. finalized a tentative deal overnight Wednesday.
“We believe that this tentative agreement, endorsed by the entire master bargaining committee, addresses all of the items raised by members in preparation for this round of collective bargaining,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.
“We believe that this agreement will solidify the foundations on which we will continue to bargain gains for generations of auto workers in Canada.”
Unifor, years ago known as the Canadian Auto Workers union or CAW, elected not to follow the course set by its American sibling, the United Auto Workers union. The UAW, led by its fiery and militant new president, Shawn Fain, elected to use stand up strikes to hit all three automakers at the same time.
Instead, Unifor’s Payne stuck to the traditional path. She also eschewed the combative approached favored by her U.S. counterpart. For now, it would seem her plans kept 5,600 Ford employees from the picket lines.
The previous four-year agreement between Unifor and Ford expired Sept. 18 at 11:59 p.m. but union agreed to a 24-hour extension, allowing talks to continue through the evening. The end result was a deal.
Unifor isn’t revealing the details of the proposed new contract, saying it wants the rank-and-file to get a look at it first. However, Payne said earlier the union was demanding substantial increases in pensions and wages. The tentative agreement covers local pacts at all of Ford’s various sites across Canada.
Ford officials confirmed the tentative settlement but also declined to discuss specifics.