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Canadian union Unifor says Ford offers wage increases of 10% for first year


(Reuters) -Ford Motor offered a 10% wage increase for the first year followed by increases of 2% and 3% through the second and third year in its tentative agreement with Unifor, the Canadian Union said on Saturday.

The agreement also includes a $10,000 productivity and quality bonus to all employees on the active roll of the company and an increase in the monthly basic benefit and special allowance in all class codes across defined benefit and hybrid pension plans.

The wage increases over the life of the contract vary from 19% to 25% depending on the type of job, according to the details of the contract released by Unifor.

Unifor, which represents about 5,600 Canadian auto workers, on Friday said that its Ford leadership group has voted unanimously to support the tentative agreement.

Ford is also facing labour problems in the U.S. with a strike by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which is also striking at the plants of General Motors and Stellantis.

UAW President Shawn Fain said on Friday Ford had improved its contract offer, including boosting profit sharing and agreeing to let workers strike over plant closures but said the union still has “serious issues” with Ford and its workers would remain on strike at the automaker’s Wayne, Michigan assembly plant.

Unlike UAW, Unifor chose one of the Detroit Three as a “target” to negotiate with first – in this case, Ford – in a pattern bargaining tactic used to set the tone for subsequent deals with other companies.

Unifor had sought improved wages and pensions, support in the transition to electric vehicles and additional investment commitments from Ford. The union is yet to reach a deal with Stellantis and General Motors to avoid walkouts at their Canadian facilities.

The UAW began strikes on Friday against 38 parts distribution centers across the United States at GM and Stellantis, extending its unprecedented, simultaneous strikes that began with one assembly plant each of the Detroit Three. The additional facilities added about 5,600 workers to the 12,700 already on strike.

(Reporting by Gokul Pisharody in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Alistair Bell)

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