By on October 3, 2016

Ford Canada Oakville

GM Canada autoworkers seemed pretty pleased with the contract deal their union reached with the company, but Ford needs to put something different on the table to satisfy its employees.

The president of a Unifor local representing Canadian Ford workers said his members would have voted down the GM deal, Reuters reports.

For GM workers, the potential loss of the Oshawa assembly plant was top of mind. Unifor, which represents Detroit Three autoworkers in Canada, has placed new product and investment as its number one demand in this round of bargaining talks.

Ford will be the last of the three to enter contract negotiations. Under pattern bargaining, the other two companies are held to the terms of the deal reached with the first.

According to Dave Thomas, president of Unifor’s Local 707, Ford workers would reject an employee pay grid modeled after GM’s. (In return for plant investment, Unifor agreed to keep the 10-year pay ladder for new hires.)

“That framework that GM has set forward won’t ratify in Oakville,” Thomas told Reuters, referring to the automaker’s main Canadian assembly plant. “My members have huge concerns.”

The union official says his members want new hires to reach the top of the pay grid sooner. Unifor president Jerry Dias seemed to shrug off the brewing unrest at Ford, saying that pattern bargaining always produces this result.

“We’ll deal with Ford when we get there,” Dias told Reuters. “The 707 leadership is listening to their members, and so we’ll see where that takes us.”

Negotiations between Unifor and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are already underway, with a strike deadline set for October 10.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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14 Comments on “GM-Unifor Deal Won’t Fly with Ford Workers: Union Official...”


  • avatar
    VoGo

    Oakville is a really nice suburb of Toronto, so it surprises me that there is a major auto manufacturing plant there. Question for the B&B: are there other wealthy towns with car factories in them?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The assembly was originally built in 1953, I’m guessing the neighbor got better around and in spite of it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oakville_Assembly

    • 0 avatar
      MikeInCanada

      I’ll just be blunt…. The Ford Plant is not ‘really’ in Oakville – rather it’s in West Mississauga. It’s the perfect place for a car plant, railroad tracks and a would be Natural Gas Electrical Plant (hey, I was all for that one)

      The real Oakville starts just west of Trafalgar and goes to Bronte and all south of the QEW – anything around the Dundas/Hwy 5 area is just glorified Milton.

      Big houses on big lots, lots of trees/green spaces, large breasts and very blonde hair – that’s my Oakville! And the racial demographics of the local grade schools would make the Aryan Nation proud – take that Brampton!!

    • 0 avatar
      LXbuilder

      If homes valued between $600k and $1.5k qualify as a nice neighborhood then Brampton Assembly. Though most racists and wanna be racists in training look way down there noses at Brampton these days. Still some really nice neighborhoods IMO.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    No worries, Jerry will just use the Konami code again.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    “10-year pay ladder for new hires”

    I wonder how many of the jobs covered by that will exist in the same location 10 years from now. Sucks to be young.

    Then again, a lot of those new hires may have bailed from other broken careers and not be spring chickens.

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      While mo’ pay is always mo’ better, I’d say given the lack of trade/education the vast majority of assembly line workers have, they’re fortunate to have what they have.

      Just another example of unions pricing themselves out of the market.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Whatever. I bear no union hate. My family history is rife with examples of life before unions.

        I just hate seeing one more blow upon the corpse of a glorious past.

        • 0 avatar
          mason

          It’s got nothing to do with hate and everything to do with unrealistic expectations. When your already at the top of the food chain (automotive manufacturing IS at a global scale) with very little to offer outside of an assembly line, it’s hard to continue to expect more.

          These type of first world problems are not what unions were ever intended for and what I struggle with when it comes to union negotiations of this sort, and I have been on both sides of the fence in multiple trades.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Union decline at least in Canada has little to do with them pricing themselves out of existence.

            “One reason for the decline in the unionization rate for young men was the employment shift from industries and occupations with high unionization rates, such as construction and manufacturing, to industries and occupations with lower rates, such as retail trade and professional services. The increase in the unionization rate for older women may be explained by their concentration in industries with a high unionization rate, such as health care and social assistance, education services and public administration.

            From 1999 to 2014, public sector unionization rates grew from 70.4% to 71.3%. Private sector rates fell from 18.1% to 15.2% over the same years.

            However, employment shifts were not the sole reason for changes in the unionization rate. For example, among men aged 25 to 34, employment shifts were behind less than half of the total decrease in the unionization rate from 1981 to 1998. This means that changes within industries and occupations also played a role.”

            This is directly from Statistics Canada (StatsCan)

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            Serious question Lou, what has happened to skilled trades in Canada?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Mason – looking at StatsCan data from 2007 (most recent) 39% of the country’s machinists work in Ontario. The oil boom shifted skilled trades West to the oil patch.
            ” For example, coinciding with the decline in manufacturing, the proportion of tradesworkers in Ontario was 36% in 2007, down significantly from 41% in 1987.”
            97% of skilled tradesmen had full time jobs in 2007.
            I’m sure that the economic downturn around 2008 made those numbers worse but across the board there is a skilled tradesmen shortage developing due to those approaching retirement age and an aversion by the young entering the workforce to gravitate to skilled trades.

            Anecdotally, the tradesmen I know aren’t too worried about employment but BC hasn’t been hit too hard by the oil market collapse. In the past we have been hit hard by housing market collapses in the USA but due to tariffs on Canadian soft wood lumber (despite NAFTA) we’ve found markets elsewhere.

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