Ford narrowly dodges strike in Canada

Canadian car union Unifor reached a tentative deal with Ford Tuesday night, avoiding a strike.

The two parties struck a deal just hours before the midnight contract deadline. The union on Monday announced it was extending negotiations after receiving a last-minute offer from Ford. The details of the tentative deal have not been released, but Unifor President Lana Payne said the agreement addressed all of the union’s demands.

If approved by workers, the pact likely will serve as a template for upcoming contract negotiations with General Motors and Jeep maker Stellantis.

The deal avoids a nearly 6,000-worker strike that would have sprung up at all of Ford’s factories in Ontario, Canada. It also lets the car company focus all of its bargaining energy on the striking United Auto Workers union.

The UAW, unlike Unifor, opted to negotiate with all of the big three automakers at once. So when the strike deadline passed last week, members could walk off the job at any of those companies.

Over 12,000 UAW members are on strike in Missouri, Michigan and Ohio. The union is practicing a targeted strategy as opposed to a nationwide strike, meaning that most autoworkers are still on the job.

Unifor and the UAW have similar demands. The UAW specifically is asking for a massive 40% pay increase, the reintroduction of pension plans and a reduction of the workweek.

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