Unifor extends strike deadline by 24 hours as Ford talks continue through the night

Local 707, which represents workers at Ford’s Oakville Assembly Complex, located southwest of Toronto, shared picketing instructions with members.

The local said it would establish picket lines at five locations around the assembly plant if a strike is called. Local leadership also called for volunteers to help set up the lines between midnight and 6 a.m. Tuesday morning.

A strike at Ford facilities in Canada would put auto workers on both sides of the border on the picket line.

Strikes by UAW members at three Detroit 3 plants in the U.S. entered their fifth day Tuesday. Unifor sent a letter of support to its counterpart union Sept. 15, saying it stands in solidarity with the UAW as it fights for a fair collective agreement.

Unifor’s bargaining committee secured an overwhelming strike mandate late last month, with 98.9 percent of members at the automaker voting to strike, if necessary, when their current three-year contract expires.

Unifor workers at General Motors and Stellantis, meantime, will remain on the job regardless of the outcome at the bargaining table today. Over the weekend, the union took the customary step to extend its contracts at the two automakers to focus on reaching a deal with Ford.

The Unifor bargaining team pledged to remain at the table Monday to continue working toward a tentative agreement with Ford. From the outset of talks, the union has prioritized improved pensions and wages, as well as greater support for members during upcoming retooling periods.

Payne said late Monday that pensions and benefits remain sticking points at the bargaining table.

Ford Canada would not comment on the state of talks or say whether it was making contingency plans to prepare for a possible strike.

Unifor’s most recent strike against Ford Canada was in 1990; it was known as the Canadian Auto Workers union at the time.

Greg Layson and Reuters contributed to this report.

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