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Ford Promises Canada Investment on Labor Agreement

Nov. 1, 2016
The deal includes a commitment from Ford -- similar to those offered by General Motors and Fiat Chrysler in earlier talks -- to invest more than $470 million in its Canadian operations.

The Ford Motor Co. reached a new labor agreement early  Nov. 1  with the union representing more than 6,400 auto workers at the company's plants in Canada, averting a strike.

The deal includes a commitment from Ford -- similar to those offered by General Motors and Fiat Chrysler in earlier talks -- to invest more than $470 million in its Canadian operations.

The union, Unifor, pushed hard for new local investments by the Big Three automakers to plug a bleeding of jobs from Canada to its southern neighbors.

The big three automakers have all heavily invested in new factories in Mexico and refurbished plants in the United States during the last decade.

Unifor president Jerry Dias said Ford had complained about the difficulties of remaining competitive in Canada.

Last week, Ford announced its earnings had dropped by more than 50 percent during the third quarter due to slower than expected sales and the cost of introducing a new line of trucks.

The decline of the Canadian dollar, however, has boost the automaker's Canadian operations.

As part of the deal, Ford will pour money into its Windsor, Ontario engine plant and its Oakville, Ontario assembly plant.

"The Ford Edge built in Oakville is also built in China, but we secured a commitment that the Oakville plant will remain the lead export plant," Dias said.

Unifor members must still vote on the tentative agreement on November 5-6.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016

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