Clean Technology Canada

Unifor releases statement in support of Ford’s investment

April 12, 2023 | By Canadian Manufacturing

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Exterior of the Ford Oakville Assembly plant. (CNW Group/Unifor)

OAKVILLE — On Apr. 11, Unifor said they welcomed the announcement by the Ford Motor Company that the company is investing $1.8 billion to retool the Oakville Assembly Complex beginning mid-2024 to build next-generation passenger electric vehicles in 2025.

“This historic investment is a significant step forward for Canada’s auto sector and a vote of confidence in the skills and dedication of Unifor members at the Oakville Assembly Complex,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “The union’s tireless work with the Ontario and federal governments as well as Ford Motor Company has shown that we can build a better future together and we can create good jobs while growing a more sustainable economy. Today’s announcement brings us another significant step forward on the path to building the auto industry of the future.”

Unifor says the announcement reaffirmed Ford Motor Company’s $1.8 billion investment to retool the Oakville Assembly Complex, initially secured by Unifor in 2020 auto negotiations. At that time, Unifor says it selected Ford as its target pushing for government-backed funding commitments from automakers to invest in electric vehicle manufacturing at Canadian facilities. The negotiations resulted in approximately $6 billion of investment commitments for Canadian auto manufacturing facilities. Ford Motor Company was the first full-line automaker to commit to producing mass-market passenger electric vehicles in Canada.

“Today’s announcement is welcome news for Ford Oakville workers and their families. The investment to retool our plant is a big win for all of us and our community,” said Marc Brennan, Unifor Local 707 Plant Chair. “We have a proud history of building quality vehicles in Oakville and we are eager to see that continue by building next generation electric vehicles.”

Ford also announced key details and timelines for the plant’s retooling and future production plans. The company announced its site transformation plans will include both vehicle and battery assembly, a key concern of the union. The facility will also be renamed to the Oakville Electric Vehicle Complex.

“Assembling batteries at the retooled plant means more jobs for Canadian autoworkers and ultimately a more sustainable plant,” added Payne. “These jobs are essential to a thriving auto sector and our union will continue to advocate for a comprehensive EV transition at every opportunity.”

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