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Unifor members ratify new contract with Stellantis in Canada

FILE PHOTO: A flag with the logo of Stellantis is seen near Paris

(Reuters) -Canadian labor union Unifor said on Monday its members voted in favor of a new contract with Chrysler-parent Stellantis.

Unifor reached a tentative deal with Stellantis on Oct. 30 after a brief strike at the Franco-Italian automaker's facilities in Canada.

The deal included base hourly wage increases of nearly 20% for production and 25% for skilled trades over the lifetime of the agreement. It also brings back cost-of-living allowances, or COLA, by the end of 2024.

The agreement was ratified after positive votes from members at Stellantis facilities in Windsor, Brampton, Etobicoke, Mississauga and Red Deer.

Among the Detroit Three automakers in Canada, Stellantis employs the most number of workers and produces some of its popular vehicles such as the Dodge Charger and Challenger, which are made in its Brampton assembly plant in Ontario.

Unifor used the "pattern bargaining" approach in its talks with the automakers, reaching a deal first with Ford and General Motors.

Meanwhile, more-than-a-month old strike by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union against the Detroit Three automakers in the United States also ended in October. The agreements are awaiting ratification by the union.

Unifor, like UAW, sought improved wages and pensions, support in the transition to electric vehicles and additional investment commitments from the automakers.

As Stellantis prepares to introduce more than 25 battery-electric vehicles in Canada and the United States by the end of the decade, the company's operations in Canada will continue to play a critical role, it said in a statement.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Jain, Shivansh Tiwary and Priyamvada C in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)