DETROIT (Reuters) -A Canadian union early on Tuesday extended its deadline in labor talks with Ford in an effort to reach a contract deal, even as the Detroit Three automakers still face a separate coordinated U.S. strike by the United Auto Workers union.
Canadian union Unifor, which represents about 5,600 Ford workers at three plants, said after the contract expired at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday (0359 GMT on Tuesday) it received a “substantive offer” from the company and was extending the deadline to reach a deal by 24 hours.
Unifor said bargaining with Ford was continuing throughout the night and asked its members to continue to maintain strike readiness.
Ford did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Unifor has been seeking improved wages and pensions, as well as support in the transition to electric vehicles and additional investment commitments by Ford.
Hours earlier, Unifor National President Lana Payne said in a video posted on the union’s website that Ford needed to do more to meet members’ expectations and demands.
“If there is a strike, this will be a total strike,” she said. “Every single one of Unifor’s 5,600 members at Ford in Canada will be on picket lines.”
The last-minute negotiations were being held less than a week after the UAW launched a U.S. strike against Ford, General Motors and Chrysler parent Stellantis, targeting one assembly plant at each company.
UAW said it plans to announce on Friday more plants to strike if no serious progress was made in talks with the Detroit Three automakers.
(Reporting by Jahnavi Nidumolu in Bengaluru and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Jamie Freed)
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