The union’s bargaining committee secured an overwhelming strike mandate late last month, with 98.9 per cent of Unifor 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.
A strike by Ford workers in Canada would put auto workers on both sides of the border on the picket line.
Strikes by UAW members at three Detroit Three plants in the U.S. entered their fourth day Monday. 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.
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.
As the midnight deadline looms, Unifor said a further update to members is scheduled for this afternoon.
Ford Canada would not comment on the state of talks or say whether it was making contingency plans to prepare for a possible strike.