Presidents Message: On Mandatory Saturdays- August 29, 2019

Brothers and Sisters: 


President – Local 707

In 2012 Local 707 and Ford Motor Company negotiated language pertaining to mandatory Saturday production at OAC. This language (which can be found on page 24 of Exhibit B), was negotiated for extra volume should the need be for Ford to meet customer demand. Several parameters were put in place structuring ground rules allowing the company to schedule mandatory days.

Over the course of the last 7 years very few Saturdays have been scheduled as mandatory, as those conditions of the CBA have not been met. We as a local have always stressed upon the fact that voluntary days were a far better course of action. The company has never agreed with our position on the interpretation of the language, but to this point we have always been successful with voluntary canvasses, UNTIL NOW.

Due to breakdowns in the paint shop last week Plant Manager Ron Prahin notified us they lost approximately 1000 units of production. These are customer sold units that need to be delivered by 3rd quarter end. Ford is looking for an avenue to recover these lost units. Currently Supervisors are canvassing for a voluntary Saturday work opportunity on September 7th 2019. I would encourage the membership, if available to consider this voluntary work opportunity as our customers are always our number one priority.

Ford upper management is concerned we will not be able to recoup the number of units lost before quarters end. They are taking a position they believe they have the right to schedule mandatory Saturdays the way the current language is structured. We have been in constant discussions over the past few weeks discussing intent and meaning of the language. Make NO mistake Brothers and Sisters our position has been made very clear on this issue. Mandatory Saturdays were NOT negotiated to recover lost units from breakdowns or production losses. They have cancelled a shift in our paint shop eliminated most of the relief people in final assembly and indefinitely laid off 50 of our junior members. They have reduced production throughout the plant and as the language reads mandatory Saturdays are for extra volume over maximum capacities.

We will be meeting on Tuesday with Central Headquarters Union Relations Manager David Nangini and Unifor Director of Auto Dino Chiodo for a hopeful resolve. This has been a very contentious issue for quite some time now Sisters and Brothers. Rest assured in 2020 bargaining this language will need to be tightened up. I will certainly update on Tuesday after our discussions.

As I stated in my earlier message have a safe and Happy Labour Day weekend and I look forward to seeing everyone at the parade on Monday.

In Solidarity

Dave Thomas

President Unifor Local 707

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