Oakville, Ontario – Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited has reached a collective bargaining agreement with the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) more than four months before the current contract expires. Ford employees represented by the CAW ratified the new deal in a vote held on Sunday.

The early settlement brings stability to Ford’s operations as it prepares to launch the new Ford Flex crossover vehicle at the Oakville Assembly Complex, which also builds the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX. Ford recently announced plans to add 500 positions to increase production at the Oakville plant due to high demand for the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX, and to prepare for the start of production of the Ford Flex.

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • During the first three years of employment, new employees earn 70% of base wages, Cost-of-living allowance (COLA) payments are suspended, and Supplemental Unemployment Benefits (SUB) and time-off provisions are phased in. After three years, employees receive 100% of base wages and benefits.
  • COLA payments are frozen for the next 16 months. Quarterly COLA adjustments resume in December 2009.
  • Each CAW-represented employee receives a $2,200 productivity and quality bonus upon ratification to recognize their efforts in helping Ford become one of the best in the industry in product quality.
  • Health care savings generated through a new 10% co-pay program for prescription drugs and a cap on long-term care provisions.
  • A 40-hour-per-year reduction in vacation pay, offset by a $3,500 cash payment in January 2009.

Production at the St. Thomas Assembly Plant, near London, Ont. is extended by one year to 2011.

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