TORONTO -- Unifor says Ford Motor Co. will be the target of this year's labour union negotiations, ahead of a strike deadline later this month.

The union renegotiates wages, pensions and benefits every four years, targeting one of the Detroit Three automakers.

This year, Ford will be the focus of negotiations, and the company's deal with Unifor will serve as a pattern for agreements with the other two manufacturers, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors Co.

Unifor National President Jerry Dias says the company was chosen in part because workers at the Ford plant in Oakville, Ont., are the most vulnerable in the union.

The country's largest private-sector union has been pushing for commitments that new products will be made at Canadian plants, especially electric vehicles.

Workers have voted to support a potential strike if the automaker and union can't reach a deal by Sept. 21 at 11:59 p.m.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2020