News that the Oakville Assembly Plant retool period is extended was not what anyone at the National, the Local, Ford Council or on the shop floor expected or wanted to hear from the company. The information we have today is far different than the information provided by Ford Motor Company at the bargaining table as well as at various joint union-management meetings in past years. The relentless pressure our union put on the company ultimately brought this information to light.

We have not taken any of this lightly. The minute we received word of the change in plans, we got to work. The union communicated its disappointment and frustration to the company, including directly to CEO Jim Farley. We reminded Ford executives that there is a lot at stake in this transition to future electric vehicle production, not the least of which are the good jobs you, the members, and your families expect and deserve. This message we delivered was heard loud and clear.

Right now, our priority is to identify solutions to address the challenges this extension has created for the members. Conversations with the company have been taking place since the first week of April. The union continues to explore ways to lessen the impact on your pay and job security for this extended downtime – building on the protections negotiated with Ford in our 2023 collective agreement. Our approach to these conversations is multi-layered. We are exploring all options, including on enhanced income security, new work opportunities and, of course, shortening the retool timeline. We are also having regular conversations with government, leveraging all we can to resolve this issue for the members. More meetings are scheduled, and discussions are ongoing. As soon as there is information to share, we will share it.

The Oakville Electric Vehicle Complex remains a key part of Ford Motor Company’s future EV and battery production plans. Investment in the plant’s transformation have already started to happen, including structural changes to the building itself that remain on schedule. These are good signs. However, that doesn’t mean we can let our guard down. There is no rest until this plant is up and running and members at back at work, building the highest quality vehicles anywhere in the Ford chain. We appreciate those who have reached out with their questions, concerns, and messages of support. Our future is only as strong as our solidarity.

In Solidarity,

Lana Payne
Unifor National President

Marc Brennan
Chairperson, Oakville Assembly
Vice-Chair, Unifor Ford Council

John D’Agnolo
President, Local 200
Chair, Unifor Ford Council

Profile picture for 666601
About Unifor
Unifor is a Canadian union with a modern, inclusive approach to serving members and improving our workplaces and communities.