With Ford deal approved, Unifor sets sights on GM for next round of auto talks

GM Glendale

Canada's largest private sector union says it will turn to negotiations with General Motors after members voted to accept its labour agreement with Ford Motor Co. of Canada.

Unifor says the talks will begin Tuesday.

Workers at Ford voted 54 per cent in favour of a new three-year collective agreement over the weekend. The ratification stands in sharp contrast to the 81 per cent support their previous contract received.

The narrow vote of support by Unifor members for the proposed contract with Ford has experts saying that reaching deals with General Motors and Stellantis could prove more challenging.

The union has said the Ford deal will set the pattern for contract talks at GM and Stellantis, but Steven Tufts, a labour expert at York University, said the relatively low support raises the question of whether workers will accept the template.

Unifor's negotiations with GM cover approximately 4,300 workers at the St. Catharines Powertrain Plant, Oshawa Assembly Complex and Woodstock Parts Distribution Centre.