The Ford Motor Co.’s (NYSE:F) operations are in jeopardy as the automaker’s Canadian union workers have threatened to go on strike. Like the United Auto Workers (UAW) in the U.S., Canada’s Unifor, the union representing workers at Ford and the other two car makers, namely General Motors (NYSE:GM), and Stellantis (NYSE:STLA), is also asking for wage increases, pension protection, and higher investment in Canadian plants. Plus, Unifor urges for job security for its workers as the traditional auto industry transforms into pivotal electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing.
Lana Payne, President of Unifor, has openly proclaimed that with the U.S. workers already on strike, this would be the right time to address their demands by threatening a strike. In Canada, Unifor is adopting a slightly different approach than the UAW by targeting Ford first. Roughly 5,700 workers could walk out from the Canadian plants when the contract expires at midnight on September 18. Although talks have been “constructive,” no major progress has been made.
The Unifor workers are spread across Ford’s Ontario assembly plant and two engine-making plants located just beyond the Detroit River. The Ontario plant manufactures the Ford Edge and the Lincoln Nautilus SUVs, while the other two make the V-8 engines for Mustang and F-150 pickups. Ford stock lost 2.1% on September 18 but is up 15% year-to-date.
The Big Three and UAW Strike Update
Nearly 12,700 workers of the UAW union finished their fourth day of targeted strike at the Big Three automakers yesterday. Striking workers on picket lines are hovering outside the plants, while some non-striking workers are also holding rallies. Ford also laid off 600 workers on September 15, citing direct consequence of the strike.
Meanwhile, negotiations have resumed, as the union threatens to strike at more plants effective Friday, September 22, if their demands are not met. However, no details of the actual negotiations are available at the time of writing. The UAW is paying $500 per week to both striking workers and those who are laid off as a result.
As per a Wall Street Journal report, analysts have been calculating the expected hit to bottom lines for the car makers once the new contracts with higher wages kick in. Wells Fargo analysts project that an estimated $700 million to $1.2 billion would be added in costs to companies over the four-year life of the contract. Further, these costs could hit $1.7 billion to…