Protests in the USA continue
Ford averts strike at Canadian plants
September 25, 2023, 9:42 a.m
Hundreds of workers in US auto plants have been on strike for more than a week. Most recently, the strike threatens to spread to the US car manufacturer Ford’s plants in Canada. But now the Canadian union Unifor and Ford have reached an agreement in collective bargaining talks.
While the strikes in the auto industry continue in the USA and are becoming increasingly politically important, the manufacturer Ford was able to avert an impending industrial dispute in neighboring Canada. The members of the Unifor union agreed to a collective agreement with the US company. Salaries will increase by 15 percent over three years, with an increase of ten percent in the first year.
In an entry on the short message service X, the union welcomed “immense gains for the employees”. The agreement for more than 5,600 Canadian Ford employees also includes other benefits and bonuses, including cost-of-living adjustments and better pensions. It is likely to serve as a template for agreements with the other two large car companies, General Motors and Stellantis.
In the USA, a simultaneous strike at the three companies, also known as “The Big Three”, is entering its second week. General Motors and Stellantis, which emerged from the merger of Fiat Chrysler with Peugeot, are particularly affected. So far, almost 40 spare parts distribution centers of the two companies have been on strike.
The powerful UAW union complains about the lack of progress in collective bargaining, while “real progress” has also been made at Ford in the USA. Among other things, the UAW is calling for a 40 percent pay increase over four years, citing that this would be in line with the increase in executive compensation.
The strike is increasingly becoming a problem for US President Joe Biden as it could affect the US economy as a whole. At the same time, support for unions is a core focus of Biden’s presidency, and Michigan, where Detroit, the center of the US auto industry, is located, is an important state with a view to next year’s election.