Negotiations between the U.S. automakers and the United Auto Workers union are still ongoing, but Ford Motor has managed to avoid a second strike in Canada.
Just before the strike deadline, Ford reached a tentative labor agreement with Unifor, Canada’s main auto union. The details of the agreement have not been disclosed.
Unifor now plans to seek similar agreements with General Motors and Stellantis.
The U.A.W. strikes in the United States have made slower progress. The U.A.W. asked nearly 13,000 workers at three U.S. plants to leave their jobs, and talks have not progressed significantly since then. Stellantis presented a new offer to the union, but no details were provided.
The U.A.W. is seeking a 40 percent increase in wages over four years, along with other benefits such as pension plans and shorter working hours. The automakers have offered raises of just over 20 percent.
Workers outside the Stellantis headquarters showed support for the strike, and a U.A.W. member expressed optimism that a good contract will be reached. However, for many workers, the current wages make it difficult to cover expenses.
The U.A.W. president warned that the strike could expand to additional plants if significant progress is not made. The current approach of striking at multiple locations simultaneously is a departure from the union’s previous strategies.
In an opinion essay, G.M.’s president defended the company’s wage offers, emphasizing the investments being made to transition to electric vehicles.
Separately, union members at a plant in Alabama owned by ZF, a supplier to Mercedes-Benz, have gone on strike.