Unifor and FCA reach tentative deal
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Approximately 1,500 jobs were lost and almost 500 workers went on indefinite layoff due to the third shift cancellation at Windsor Assembly. Some 700 workers accepted a buyout package from the company.
Unifor represents 9,000 workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Canada and was also looking to secure new product for FCA’s Brampton plant where the Challenger, Charger and Chrysler 300 are produced along with investment in the company’s casting plant in Etobicoke.
Unifor began negotiations with FCA Canada Oct. 1 in Toronto, following the ratification of a three-year deal negotiated with Ford Canada that set the pattern for Detroit 3 bargaining.
Among the highlights of the Ford deal locally were $148 million in new investment in Windsor for the 6X engine that goes into production in 2022, with a third shift and about 120 jobs being added to Ford’s Annex Engine Plant.
The deal will also result in five new electric vehicles being built at Ford’s Oakville Plant.
Economic gains were also made.
The new-hire salary grid reduced by three years from the 11 it previously took to reach the top level and new hires start at 65 per cent of top assembly wages – up from 61.25 per cent.
Workers will receive a 2.5 per cent wage increase and a $7,250 bonus in the first year. By the end of the deal, the salary grid will start at $24.26 and rise to $37.33. Currently the grid is $20.92 to $35.33.
Skilled trades (based on an electrician’s wages) will see a rise from a base of $41.88 to $44.77 over the course of the agreement.