Ford Canada workers have overwhelmingly accepted a new labour deal, even though it offers some of the lowest wage gains in their union’s history and allows for hundreds of layoffs, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
The Canadian Auto Workers union reportedly said on Sunday that 95% of Ford union workers accepted the three-year deal, which had been tentatively reached by negotiators last week.
About half of Ford’s 11,600 union workers voted on the deal in the Ontario cities of Windsor, St. Thomas and Brampton, the report said.
AP noted that the result appears to be a win for CAW president Buzz Hargrove, who acknowledges the deal was a difficult one for members since it allows Ford to trim its union work force by 1,100 positions over the next three years.
“It shows that even in tough bargaining, if the union and the company meet their responsibilities, a deal can be reached,” Hargrove reportedly said after the results of the vote were released Sunday afternoon.
The deal reportedly also includes the closure of a casting plant in Windsor and offers base wage hikes of roughly 1.5% in the first year, followed by two annual increases of 1%. Those are the lowest raises negotiated for assembly plant workers since the CAW split from the United Auto Workers union in the mid-1980s, the Associated Press noted.
AP added that the CAW is now negotiating with DaimlerChrysler on a new deal and were in talks with the automaker all weekend. There is a midnight strike deadline on Tuesday for the union to reach a deal for 11,400 DaimlerChrysler workers.
DaimlerChrysler and the union reportedly are far apart on what the union says is DaimlerChrysler’s move to outsource hundreds of jobs.
A new contract with more than 17,000 General Motors workers also needs to be worked out in coming weeks, the Associated Press added.