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Unifor says likelihood of strike at Ford increasing as deadline approaches

The contract between Unifor and Ford Motor Co. is set to expire on at 11:59 p.m. ET tonight. Lana Payne, Unifor National President announces Ford as the target company for the current round of negotiations with Detroit Three during a press conference in Toronto, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin

TORONTO — Unifor says the likelihood of a strike at Ford Motor Co. is increasing as the expiry of the current contract approaches without a deal in place.

In a late afternoon Monday update, the union said it was telling its 5,600 members at Ford to be ready for all scenarios, including strike action, when the contract expires at the end of the day.

“Unifor bargaining committees continue to negotiate with Ford Motor Company ahead of the union’s midnight strike deadline," said Unifor national president Lana Payne in a statement.

"While we remain at the table, the likelihood of a strike increases with each passing hour."

Unifor has said it is focused on increasing wages, improving pensions, and securing good jobs in a future set to be dominated by electric vehicles.

The union is negotiating with Ford in hopes of reaching an agreement that can then be used as a blueprint for workers at General Motors and Stellantis. 

Unifor members at Ford have voted 98.9 per cent in favour of a strike if the bargaining committee fails to secure a new collective agreement. 

The talks continue as autoworkers represented by the United Auto Workers in the United States are on the picket line.

Some 13,000 U.S. autoworkers started striking last week, targeting a plant at each of the Detroit Three automakers. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published  Sept. 18, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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