Unifor Reaches Deal With Ford Motor That Keeps Oakville Assembly Plant Open

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) has reached a tentative contract agreement with the union representing its Canadian production workers that keeps open the company’s last remaining vehicle-assembly plant in the country.

The three-year deal includes investing $1.95 billion in two Ontario facilities, said Unifor, the union that represents the workers. The tentative deal pact calls for Ford’s Oakville, Ontario, plant to assemble five battery-powered vehicles beginning in 2025.

Unifor represents about 5,400 Ford hourly workers, including 3,400 at the Oakville assembly plant. The Oakville facility was at risk of closing because the Ford Edge sport-utility vehicle that had been made there has an uncertain future.

The Canadian and Ontario governments were set to provide Ford with a "massive amount" of incentive money to keep the Oakville plant operational, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said.

Ford Motor said it will also build batteries at its Oakville facility, as it becomes a key production site in the automaker’s plan to invest $11 billion U.S. to electrify its lineup with plug-in vehicles including the Mustang Mach-E that comes out later this year. Ford is also making investments in its Windsor, Ontario, engine plant.

Once Ford workers ratify the agreement, Unifor said it will move on to negotiate a deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU), leaving General Motors Co.(NYSE:GM) for last. The union represents about 20,000 hourly workers at the three companies. The Ford ratification vote takes place on September. 27.