Unifor extremely disappointed in Ford Motor Company decision to delay Oakville transition

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APRIL 4, 2024

TORONTO—Unifor calls on Ford Motor Company to consider all possible options to mitigate the negative impact on workers following the announced substantial delay in the launch of EV production at the Oakville Assembly Plant.

“Unifor is extremely disappointed by the company’s decision. Our members have done nothing but build best-in-class vehicles for Ford Motor Company and they deserve certainty in the company’s future production plans,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “I want to be very clear here. Our members can be assured that we will push the company to explore every single possible opportunity to lessen the impact of this decision on them and their families.”

Ford has announced that while the retooling of Oakville Assembly Plant will commence this Spring as planned, the company is delaying the launch of EV production from 2025 to 2027. Unifor was informed of the revised timeline during a meeting with Ford executives earlier this week.

Unifor represents more than 5,600 Ford Canada workers, including 3,200 Local 707 members employed at the Oakville Assembly Plant. In 2020, Ford announced an historic $1.8 billion investment to retool the Oakville Plant for EV and battery pack production. In 2023 contract negotiations with Ford, Unifor negotiated innovative income and benefit transition supports, covering members at the Oakville plant for what was originally forecasted to be an eight-month retooling period. Negotiations included a provision that should the retooling period extend beyond eight months the company and the union will meet to discuss extending this arrangement.

“There will be unexpected setbacks in the transition to EV, but we fully expect Ford to investigate every available option to support our Oakville members. It is unacceptable, after 120 years of operation in this country, that Ford does not plan to build a single vehicle in Canada for years on end,” said Local 707 Oakville Assembly Complex Chairperson Marc Brennan.

Given the magnitude of the delay Unifor has requested a meeting with Ford to be held as soon as possible to discuss job and income security measures for workers.

Ford Edge production at Oakville Assembly is scheduled to end in approximately one month.

“This is a significant setback and while the first stages of retooling are still on track and we remain committed to securing an EV future for the workers of Oakville, the immediate challenges faced by our members will be front and centre in our discussions with the company,” Payne added.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector and represents 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.

For media inquiries please contact Unifor Communications Director Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or by cell at (416) 896-3303.