TORONTO — Some 5,600 Unifor members at Ford voted up a three-year contract negotiated by the union just hours before a strike deadline. The Sept. 24 vote was by the narrowest of margins — 54% to approve — despite bosses including a raise of 10% in the first year. Workers get a 2% and 3% raise in the next two years.
Most of the workers are based at plants in Oakville and Windsor, Ontario. The contract reinstates quarterly cost-of-living adjustments that were suspended in 2008. Divisive two tiers remain, but new hires will reach the top pay in four years rather than eight. “I think the biggest thing that people were disappointed with was the pension monies,” Darby McCloskey, financial secretary for Unifor Local 200, told the Windsor Star. The contract includes a raise in pension payments, the first since 2005.
“We settled too early; we should have stuck together,” one worker at Oakville told CBC radio Sept. 25.
The union begins talks with General Motors Sept. 26.