A late-night contract offer from Ford caused Canadian auto workers union Unifor to extend their strike deadline by 24 hours.
The union, which is currently in the last stages of contract negotiations with automakers Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, which owns Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep, announced that they received a “substantive offer” just minutes before the midnight deadline on Monday.
The union then gave Ford a 24-hour extension for their contract negotiations and told members to prepare to strike if a deal is not met by 11:59 P.M. Tuesday. If a strike happens this week, it would be the first at a Canadian Ford plant since 1990.
The extension is a rare bright spot in the contract talks which have been slow going. Ford remains optimistic that a deal can be reached by the deadline.
“We will continue to work collaboratively with Unifor to create a blueprint for the automotive industry that supports a vibrant and sustainable future in Canada,” the company said in a statement.
The stalled strike comes just days after the United Auto Workers took to the picket lines in Michigan after contract talks with the Big Three automakers failed last week and 13,000 workers walked out at three factories — one each at GM, Ford Motor and Stellantis.
In contrast, if Unifor goes on strike, workers will walk out at every Ford location where it represents members, but will not immediately strike Stellantis or GM locations.
Unlike the UAW, Unifor has not been as public about its demands. Unifor President Lana Payne has confirmed her union is working closely with the UAW and their interests remain aligned. The union is asking for increased pay and benefits as well as the reintroduction of pension plans.