Ford Motor Company of Canada and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) have a new four-year contract.
The automaker announced this afternoon that union members ratified the deal in votes held today.
Ford says the new contract includes new jobs at Ford’s Canadian operations and offers significant savings for the company.
“By becoming more competitive in our labour costs, we are better positioned to support the growth of the Canadian economy and to provide new job opportunities,” said Stacey Allerton, vice president of Human Resources at Ford of Canada and the company’s lead labour negotiator. “For every auto job in Canada, multiple supporting jobs are created, and both the company and our employees view that opportunity and responsibility very seriously.
“At Ford, we are proud to be Canada’s longest-established automaker,” Allerton added. “We have employed thousands of Canadians during our 108 years here, and Ford remains committed to building a strong future in Canada.”
Key to controlling labor costs, said to be the highest in the world, is a revised pay structure for new hires and increased operational flexibility.
As the CAW announced earlier this week, employees hired after today will start at about 60% of the standard hourly rate and will have a different pension plan. After ten years, these employees will graduate to the standard pay rate.
Employees covered by the agreement will receive a $3,000 signing bonus.
Under the new contract, cost-of-living allowances (COLAs) are suspended until June 6, 2016. Instead, employees will receive a $2,000 lump sum payment in the first three years of the agreement. Long-term care provisions are capped at $800 per month for new participants; prescription drug plan updated to reduce costs.
Current pension levels are maintained for all retirees. Ford says retirement incentives will be offered to certain employee groups to help create opportunities for laid-off employees to return to work.