Ford employees in Canada ‘meeting resistance’ ahead of Monday’s strike deadline

A Ford employee works on the assembly line in Ford Motor Company's Chicago Assembly Plant in Chicago, Ill,. in June 2019. File Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE

Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Ford workers in Canada may soon strike as the automaker and the union remain apart on wages and other key issues.

The collective bargaining agreement between Ford and Unifor -- the union representing Ford employees -- expires at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, CBC reports.

Unifor President Lana Payne described the negotiations with Ford as "meeting resistance."

"If I was to summarize the status of talks with Ford right now, I would say things are moving, but we are certainly not there yet," Payne said.

The union has rejected two offers from Ford so far, according to Payne. Unifor is seeking pensions, higher wages, investment options and support for the transition to electric vehicles.

Ford's lone Canadian assembly plant is located in Oakville, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto. Unifor has 3,400 members at that plant, CNN reports. The Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus are assembled there.

There are also two Ford engine plants in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Those plants employ 1,700 Unifor members.

The impending strike would come as United Auto Workers members from Ford, General Motors and Chrysler parent company Stellantis stage a strike in the United States.

"Talks have continued to progress since Unifor's last information session at both master and local tables. However, at this late stage in the negotiations, the union and the company remain far apart," Unifor said in a press release Sunday. "As the deadline approaches, Unifor members at Ford Motor Company are advised to be prepared for all scenarios, including strike action. All Unifor members are required to report for their regularly scheduled shift unless otherwise directed by union officials."