New product for Essex Engine Plant in tentative Unifor, Ford deal
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Program heralded as being 'top of the food chain'
A long-awaited new engine program is set for Ford Motor Co.'s Essex Engine Plant, Unifor announced early Tuesday as it reached a tentative agreement with the automaker.
- Unifor, Ford reach tentative labour deal
- Unifor rep at Oakville Ford plant says no to template of GM deal
- Unions face challenges in offsetting pension losses
That program is heralded as being at "the top of the food chain."
'I'm feeling pretty good'
Workers filed into work as usual at the Essex Engine Plant Tuesday, with some expressing relief that a deal had been reached.
"I'm feeling pretty good. I'm feeling pretty optimistic," said Norman Russette, who's been building engines at the plant for 33 years.
"A $700-million investment is nothing to sneeze at, we do need the work here in Windsor. A lot of us were in the plant the last couple of weeks [feeling] kind of hot and cold," he said. "What it seems to me, and to most of the majority, is this is a good contract to ratify."
Local Unifor leadership expressed similar optimism about the tentative deal.
"What this is going to mean is the future," Chris Taylor, the president of Unifor Local 200 told Windsor Morning host Tony Doucette. "We've been quite clear for some time ... that our Windsor operations are in jeopardy."
Taylor said he knows what the new engine program will be, but he will be telling Unifor members the news first. But he did say the new engine could mean more jobs at the Essex Engine Plant.
"The impact of potentially closing out the engine at Windsor Engine will be met and surpassed by the new program," he said "We convinced Ford we earned the opportunity for a new program. It will mean our plants in Windsor have a great future."
The voting process on the new deal is expected to begin on the weekend.