Canada's autoworkers union Unifor said it had ended negotiations with the 'Detroit Three' automakers after members ratified a four-year contract with Ford securing C$713m in investment, new product, more than 500 jobs, and wage improvements.

"With the Ford ratification, our union has secured more good, unionised jobs at all of the Detroit Three automakers," said Unifor national president Jerry Dias. "We solidified a footprint for the future of auto in Canada and none of this would have happened if our union was not willing to fight for principles and to do it together."

All three tentative agreements with Ford were ratified by members. Across all bargaining units, the contract was approved with a vote of 58%.

Ford employs more than 6,700 Unifor members. The new contract includes: $713m in investment and engine product commitments; two general wage increases of 2% each over the life of the contract; a signing bonus of $6,000 and a $2,000 lump sum in the second, third and fourth year of the contract, both of which total $12,000 over the next four years; significant improvements to the in-progression wage grid that will provide thousands of dollars of new money in income earnings and higher pay to new members (under 10 years of service); benefit improvements and a 50% reduction of the health deductible for retirees; an improved team leader rate; and significant work practice improvements for operations and facilities.

Ford Canada said: "Covering more than 6,400 people, this collective agreement maintains auto manufacturing jobs and is a significant investment in our Canadian workforce through wage increases for all employees and benefit plan improvements.

"This competitive agreement with Unifor enables Ford of Canada to further strengthen its business and positions the Canadian operations for future success.

"Ford continues to speak with the federal and Ontario governments to ensure long-term sustainability for Canada's auto manufacturing sector."

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