Fiat Chrysler (FCA) has committed to a multi-year investment in assembling electric vehicles in Canada and to add up to 2,000 new jobs, a union representing some of the carmaker's workers announced Thursday.
The announcement comes less than a month after Unifor said Ford would invest $1.46 billion in its Oakville and Windsor plants.
Under the deal, Fiat Chrysler's investment would outfit the factory to assemble plug-in hybrids and battery-powered vehicles, with at least one new model in 2025, he added.
Bargaining is expected to begin with General Motors Canada later next week.
"Not only is Fiat-Chrysler maintaining the current portfolio but they will be investing three derivatives to enhance the current portfolio", Dias said. "But there's no question there are conversations happening with both levels of government to invest in the $1.5 billion".
Fiat Chrysler, Union avert Canada strike with tentative deal
Dias says the headcount at Fiat Chrysler will grow by almost 2,000 as a result, with workers starting to come on board in 2023.
The investment will bring back a third shift that was cut this summer, eliminating 1,500 positions, Dias said. After restructuring and retirement incentives, about 425 workers were laid off. Etobicoke Casting will see more work in-sourced for the high volume Jeep Wrangler, 9-speed transmissions and potentially other products, leading to the recall of more than 100 members.
Unifor went into this year's negotiations with concerns about restoring the third shift in Fiat Chrysler's Windsor and Brampton, Ont., facilities.
Before the Wednesday night deadline, Unifor had warned members to prepare for a strike, saying talks had bogged down on issues related to wages, health-care benefits and investment commitments at the Canadian factories.
According to a release from the union, details of the agreement will be presented first to members during virtual ratification meetings over the weekend, and members will vote over a 24-hour period starting Sunday at 10 a.m.