TORONTO – Unionized workers at Ford’s Canadian operations have accepted a new contract with the automaker.
Unifor, which represents some 6,700 workers at Ford, says the deal was approved by 58 per cent of the employees who voted.
The tentative contract was hammered out last week after marathon negotiations.
Unifor says Ford has promised to invest $713 million in its Canadian operations and the deal includes two wage increases of two per cent over four years.
There are also signing bonuses that total $12,000 over the term of the contract.
Ford was the last of the Detroit Three automakers to reach a new contract with Unifor.
Union president Jerry Dias has said all the North American automakers have promised to pump more than $1.5 billion into their Canadian operations.
Investment in the Canadian operations was the union’s top priority and Dias says the promised money will revitalize Canada’s auto sector.
Automotive expert Tony Faria cautioned last week that the investments don’t create new jobs or new facilities — they only stem the loss of existing jobs and facilities.
Faria, who is the director of the office of automotive research at the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business, notes that in the past 17 years Canadian auto assembly has slipped from 17 per cent of all North American vehicle assembly in 1999 to under 13 per cent last year.