FCA workers approve Unifor deal to retool Windsor plant for making electric vehicles
October 19, 2020
By The Canadian Press
WINDSOR, Ont. – Unionized workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada have voted to approve a new three-year contract, Unifor said Monday.
About 78 per cent of votes were in favour of the deal, according to the union.
The deal, which was announced last week and voted on over the weekend, will add about 2,000 new jobs by 2024, helping the company bounce back from staffing cuts over recent months.
At a news conference last week, Unifor national president Jerry Dias said a third shift was cut this summer, eliminating 1,500 positions and leaving 425 workers laid off after restructuring and retirement incentives.
“Workers who have feared plant closures and job losses in recent years can now look forward to a bright future with good jobs for years to come,” Dias said in an update Monday.
Under the new agreement, $14.4 million will be invested in its Etobicoke, Ont. plant, $50 million will be invested in its Brampton, Ont., plant, and $1.35 billion to $1.5 billion will be invested in reinventing its Windsor, Ont., plant to produce at least one electric vehicle, FCA said.
Unifor said last week it had averted a strike to reach a deal with FCA on behalf of its 8,400 unionized workers, following difficult negotiations around a pattern agreement put in place last month by Ford Motor Co.
After Ford’s agreement was announced, the federal and provincial governments said they would contribute millions to Ford’s electric vehicle assembly.
The new deal follows the improved benefits and matches the wages laid out in the pattern agreement, including five per cent increases to hourly rates, a $7,250 signing bonus and $4,000 inflation bonuses.
FCA also said that it is working with both governments on its electric vehicle investments – although the company did not specify if any government funding announcement is forthcoming.
Unifor’s new agreement with FCA also includes an anti-racism action plan, paid leave for domestic violence victims and acknowledgment of Pride month each June.
The union said it will enter its final round of negotiations with the last Detroit Three automaker, General Motors, this week.
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