Unifor applauds federal and provincial support for electric vehicle production

October 8, 2020

TORONTO—The federal and provincial announcement today of a total of $590 million in support of battery electric vehicle (BEV) production in Oakville is welcome news to thousands of Unifor members working at Ford Motor Company.

“Today is an historic day. Today is about a vision…It’s about saying to young people that we have a plan for jobs not just for today, but more importantly for tomorrow,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President, speaking at a news conference at Ford’s Connectivity and Innovation Centre in Ottawa, streamed live on Unifor’s Facebook page.

“This level of co-operation and support for the auto industry’s transition to zero emission vehicles shows that as a nation we are taking a global leadership role in the development and manufacturing of battery electric vehicles and I commend the Prime Minister and Premier Ford for the leadership they have shown today,” said Dias.

In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada must be a global leader in zero emission manufacturing, and announced these funding commitments to help retool the Oakville Assembly Complex to produce BEVs and build charging stations across the country.

“This is a big day for the Canadian auto sector. Today’s announcement clearly shows how much we can accomplish when we collaborate and innovate,” said Dias, who was also relieved to learn that the federal and Ontario government commit to working with the union and other automakers to support and attract future “large scale” investments in zero-emissions technologies.

In Oakville, Premier Doug Ford told autoworkers “we will always have your back,” as he announced

Ontario’s $295 million investment to secure thousands of jobs across Ford’s production workforce in Canada. Unifor representatives accompanied the premier at Ford’s Oakville Assembly Complex during the virtual news conference with the Prime Minister.

On September 28, 2020 Unifor members ratified a new collective agreement that includes $1.8 billion to retool the Oakville plant and $148 million for Windsor powertrain facilities. Ford has committed to source new 6.XL engines to the Windsor Engine Plant and sole source 5.0L engine assembly and current component machining to the Essex Engine plant, along with any derivatives.

Unifor represents 6,300 workers at Ford Motor Company, 9,000 at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and 4,100 at General Motors. A digital media kit be found on this website and a downloadable version of today’s news conference is available to media upon request.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.