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Ford eyes deep U.S. blue-collar job cuts - sources; 21,000 jobs of its blue-collar work force...
Forbes/ ^ | 08-01-03

Posted on 08/01/2003 4:13:41 PM PDT by Brian S

DETROIT, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co. hopes to eliminate about 21,000 jobs or 20 percent of its blue-collar work force over the life of a new collective bargaining agreement with the United Auto Workers union, sources familiar with the company's plans said this week.

When it unveiled a multiyear turnaround plan to recover from a deepening financial crisis in January last year, the world's second largest automaker said it planned to cut about 12,000 hourly jobs, nearly all represented by the UAW.

But sources close to the company said it was now looking at shrinking even further its blue-collar ranks, which include workers at its former auto parts subsidiary Visteon Corp. . Ford hopes to cut roughly 5 percent a year over the duration of a four-year contract with the UAW.

The cuts would be achieved through attrition -- meaning that Ford would not replace workers as they quit or retire -- and the company's total blue-collar work force would be cut to around 73,000 employees from 94,000, the sources said.

Anne Marie Gattari, a Ford spokeswoman, declined to comment on the nature of any planned cutback, which could complicate the contract talks that Ford and other Detroit automakers opened with the UAW two weeks ago.

But Ford's plan would be bolstered by the fact that the company has a large number of factory workers who are at or near completing 30 years of service with the automaker, when they will be eligible for retirement.

At Ford's assembly plant in Lorain, Ohio, for example, almost one-third of the work force is eligible for retirement.

Though Ford's push to cut jobs through attrition could represent a major challenge for the UAW, which has been hurt by the loss of more than half its membership since 1979, it is not without precedent.

The union allowed General Motors Corp. to use attrition to scale back its work force repeatedly under contracts over the past decade, and more than 17,000 factory jobs were eliminated at GM alone under terms of the current UAW contract with little or no protest from the union's leadership.

The UAW negotiated one of the richest contracts in U.S. labor history in 1999, at a time when GM, Ford and the Chrysler arm of DaimlerChrysler were all coming off record profits.

But those profits have long since vanished, and many analysts and labor experts believe the UAW will endorse major cost-cutting efforts at Ford and its cross-town rivals as a trade-off for keeping generous health care and retirement benefits.

At Ford, in particular, company officials have said the UAW will have to lift a four-year ban on U.S. plant closings so it can proceed with its restructuring plan by eliminating excess production capacity.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: autosales; economy; ford; jobcuts; uaw; unions
It is quite likely that Ford Motor Co., as we know it, will not survive. JMHO.
1 posted on 08/01/2003 4:13:41 PM PDT by Brian S
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To: Brian S
I don't see why this isn't a good idea. If the jobs are not necessary, for Ford to produce the vehicles, then why would they want to hire bodies to perform unnecessary tasks?

I tend to distrust unions, so maybe I am missing the point of the article.
2 posted on 08/01/2003 4:16:59 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: Brian S
Guess I'll not buy a ford then and I'm about to get a new truck.
Maybe toyota has a better idea?
3 posted on 08/01/2003 4:24:58 PM PDT by Joe Boucher
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Ford can't compete with auto companies who don't pay union wages, so they give the employees more and more to do in less time.

In defense of the autoworkers, American autoworkers are the ones who have made the big profits for Ford during the big profit years. Overseas did not do well.

Ford had Jaques forgot-his-last-name as CEO and he dinked around with their money, didn't focus the money on design and auto building, they got rid of him. They definitely have a management problem.

Alot of people think autoworkers are paid too much, but it is some of the hardest work you can do. They definitely need their health benefits, most have chronic health problems (carpal tunnel, rotater cuff, back) and a big majority will not escape the line without some type of surgery.

I see no easy answers, as there is no way to compete with the foreign companies, or cheap labor. But I do know the auto industry is a huge part of our economy and those are not jobs we want to lose.





Even so,
4 posted on 08/01/2003 4:47:42 PM PDT by Lijahsbubbe
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To: Brian S
In 1975, my brother-in-law was making $25.21 sitting in the cars on the line checking the wind shield wipers.
5 posted on 08/01/2003 4:48:43 PM PDT by Conservababe
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To: Brian S
More fallout from Unions.
6 posted on 08/01/2003 4:49:00 PM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Forget the "even so"! (bad editing, not a brain-fart)
7 posted on 08/01/2003 4:51:29 PM PDT by Lijahsbubbe
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To: Brian S
I love the smell of unios dying in the morning.
8 posted on 08/01/2003 4:58:11 PM PDT by MonroeDNA (No longshoremen (who make an average of $120k per year) were used to produce this tagline.)
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To: Lijahsbubbe
I don't hate the automakers. My father, and his father before him, as well as my brother, have worked in the automobile painting systems/robotics industry, and my maternal grandfather worked at the Ford Rouge Plant.

I still have trouble understanding how the unions cannot take the hit of the loss of jobs. If the cars are not selling, then there is no need for the workers. This is the reason why my brother is out of work at the moment.

Doesn't this also go back to the huge incentives given starting in late 2001, to get people to buy new cars? If the families that could afford to do so, already have done this, wouldn't that mean that the sales are seeing a natural decline in demand?
9 posted on 08/01/2003 5:01:26 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
More fallout from Unions.

The only Unions with clout all suck off the tit of the people now. Police,teachers,city workers etc...
Fire them all.
10 posted on 08/01/2003 5:05:09 PM PDT by Crusader21stCentury
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To: Lijahsbubbe
Nasser
11 posted on 08/01/2003 5:06:35 PM PDT by RightWingNut
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Your right about the unions...I know first hand...they are pricing themselves out of a job...Tier 1 suppliers can and have been doing the same production for half of what the unions get for Ford
12 posted on 08/01/2003 5:07:44 PM PDT by Hotdog
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
I'm sure the demand is down, and they really couldn't afford the incentives in the first place. They're going broke trying to get people to spend. Hey - who does that remind you of!!
13 posted on 08/01/2003 5:15:00 PM PDT by Lijahsbubbe
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To: Brian S
I can't say I blame them for feeling the need to do this. As long as the Ford Foundation continues to exist in its present form, I will be making no purchases from any unit of the the Ford Motor Company.
14 posted on 08/01/2003 5:15:10 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Timesink
What's the deal with the Ford Foundation?
15 posted on 08/01/2003 5:16:20 PM PDT by Lijahsbubbe
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To: Lijahsbubbe
What's the deal with the Ford Foundation?

EXTREMELY left-wing organization that funds all sorts of things that make conservatives projectile-vomit. There was just a thread around here somewhere a few days ago about their antics.

16 posted on 08/01/2003 5:18:51 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Lijahsbubbe
The Ford Foundation is as anti-Capitalist as you can get.
17 posted on 08/01/2003 5:20:11 PM PDT by MonroeDNA (No longshoremen (who make an average of $120k per year) were used to produce this tagline.)
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To: Brian S
It is so sad to see this class of job being eliminated. For decades many young men and women who had no desire to go on to college, but were good, smart, hard working people have no where to turn.

The worst part is that our society is producing a bunch of people who think the only job worth having is a white collar one, and the trades are looked upon as work fit for the unfit. It's a doggone shame.

I went to school with boys who hated books, but could take apart the engine of a Sunbeam Alpine and put it back together at the age of 15. I've always had a lot of respect for men and women who work with their hands. It's really too bad we produce very little in the US.

The Unions have reacted too little, too late to the onslaught of competition.

18 posted on 08/01/2003 5:26:18 PM PDT by AlbionGirl (A kite flies highest against the wind, not with it. - Winston Churchill)
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To: AlbionGirl
Well said!
19 posted on 08/01/2003 5:28:54 PM PDT by Lijahsbubbe
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To: Brian S
It's the pension load that's killing the big auto makers. For each worker in the big three, there are two retirees living off the pension fund. Once the work force is reduced even further, who pays for the retirees? The Goliath has finally consumed itself, or could taxpayer subsidies be in our future. The government would probably bail them out, unless the liberals are in power at the time. Then they get what the greenies have been begging for all along. The demise of gas guzzling personal transportation.

My wife designs parts for a subcontractor, she'd been laid off for most of the year. I haven't much hope for her future in auto design. However a relative has just returned from Japan on a Mazda training seminar. The Japanese seem to use their resources much wiser.
20 posted on 08/01/2003 5:42:33 PM PDT by damncat
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To: AlbionGirl
Albion..as in Albion, MI? If so, I used to work at the asphalt plant right outside of albion off I-94 back around 1977 or so...
21 posted on 08/01/2003 5:47:07 PM PDT by Brian S ("Mount up everybody and ride to the sound of the gun!")
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To: Timesink
I believe if you check you will find that the Ford Foundation has nothing to do with Ford Motors.
22 posted on 08/01/2003 5:48:50 PM PDT by UB355
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To: Brian S
How is someone who makes $30 an hour a "blue collar" worker?
23 posted on 08/01/2003 5:58:49 PM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace ((the original))
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To: UB355
I believe if you check you will find that the Ford Foundation has nothing to do with Ford Motors.

They don't now, but they did for many years, until the Foundation's actions became too much of an embarrassment for the Ford Motor Company. The fact remains that the FMC allowed the FF to come into existence, and it is the FMC's fault the FF exists today. For that they will never be forgiven, unless they decide to create a new, equally well-funded foundation that supports only conservative causes.

24 posted on 08/01/2003 5:59:25 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Brian S
No my friend, Albion, New York. A nice little town (at least it used to be) 40 miles west of Rochester and 8 miles south of Lake Ontario. A rust belt now, if ever there was one.
25 posted on 08/01/2003 6:08:59 PM PDT by AlbionGirl (A kite flies highest against the wind, not with it. - Winston Churchill)
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To: Brian S
It is quite likely that Ford Motor Co., as we know it, will not survive.

Maybe they should try making vehicles that run reliably. I hear there is a market for that.

26 posted on 08/01/2003 6:11:18 PM PDT by snopercod
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To: damncat
...or could taxpayer subsidies be in our future.

Didn't congress just pass exactly that? Some kind of pension guarantee of last resort?

27 posted on 08/01/2003 6:14:31 PM PDT by snopercod
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To: Lijahsbubbe
Ford had Jaques forgot-his-last-name as CEO and he dinked around with their money, didn't focus the money on design and auto building, they got rid of him. They definitely have a management problem.

That's a major understatement. Ask anyone who owned a Taurus under his (Jacques Nasser's) "management." The guy was a Green

http://www.corpwatch.org/news/PND.jsp?articleid=1453

who decided Taurus engines shouldn't have asbestos head gaskets. He replaced them with some horrible stuff that failed at about 60,000 miles and caused complete rod/valve-bending engine failure. It happened to my Taurus and my daughter's. Ford paid me nearly $4,000 after first saying they had no responsibility. They changed their tune when I got a lawyer. Multiply that by tens of thousands of other claims and you begin to see why they have problems. I might consider buying another Ford at some point but the company stonewalled and tried to screw people. They can't go bankrupt fast enough to suit me.

28 posted on 08/01/2003 6:16:28 PM PDT by Bernard Marx
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To: AlbionGirl
Sounds sort of like our Albion here in Michigan. Beautiful downtown, brick streets and all, but industry has left and the town has fallen upon very hard times.

Thanks for the follow up...

29 posted on 08/01/2003 6:21:30 PM PDT by Brian S ("Mount up everybody and ride to the sound of the gun!")
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
How is someone who makes $30 an hour a "blue collar" worker?

Probably because his doesn't wear a $1000 suit, call himself an attorney and charge $500 an hour... ;)

30 posted on 08/01/2003 6:24:05 PM PDT by Brian S ("Mount up everybody and ride to the sound of the gun!")
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
I always believed that blue collar was symbolic of the type of work that you do, more manual labor, time on your feet, etc.

White collar seems to imply sitting at a desk.

JMHO
31 posted on 08/01/2003 7:02:39 PM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: Brian S
"Ford Motor Co. hopes to eliminate about 21,000 jobs"

They hope do they?

32 posted on 08/01/2003 7:36:52 PM PDT by alphadog (die commie scum)
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To: alphadog
And Verizon wants to cut 5,000 jobs nationally, because of a drop in orders. That's the reality of economic life in the US.
33 posted on 08/01/2003 8:23:24 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: Joe Boucher
'Quess I'll not buy a ford..' That will help blue collar workers!Buy the Jap crap! That will help American industry!Some logic.Sheesh!
34 posted on 08/01/2003 8:35:06 PM PDT by novacation
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To: Ciexyz
Another reality in economic life is that somebody is going to have to pay for the socialist, welfare state policies that are being enacted, ie, prescription drugs (soon to be nationalized healthcare).

Wonder where those $$$ are going to be found. You have a 401K, IRA or a estate you intent to pass on to your kin? That is where the $$$ are at and they (the gov) will be coming for it, and sooner than you think.

There is no wonder that the "death tax" elimination provision recently enacted has a sunset clause allowing it to expire in 2010 (check that date but I'm close).

35 posted on 08/01/2003 8:43:45 PM PDT by Brian S ("Mount up everybody and ride to the sound of the gun!")
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To: Brian S
And .. where will 21,000 laid off workers go ..?? Maybe to other car mfgs.? How many of those 21,000 will be ready for retirement anyway..?
36 posted on 08/01/2003 10:33:47 PM PDT by CyberAnt ( America - "The Greatest Nation on the Face of the Earth")
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To: Lijahsbubbe
Carpel tunnell? Give me a f'ing break! Unions have destroyed manufacturing with their B.S!


If you can't pull a crank for 8 hours a day-get a different job.There are lots of 20 y.o.s who would assemble autos at 10 dollars per hour. It's not rocket science.
37 posted on 08/02/2003 12:37:04 AM PDT by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
White collar work implies creativity, mobility, intelligence and innovation.

Blue collar work implies unions, collective intimidation and artificially inflated wages.
38 posted on 08/02/2003 12:42:49 AM PDT by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: ffusco
What you do for a living and how old are you? (If you care to be honest, it is the internet afterall).

39 posted on 08/02/2003 12:45:56 AM PDT by Brian S ("Mount up everybody and ride to the sound of the gun!")
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To: Lijahsbubbe
What part of the economy do you mean:

A strategic industry that produces a durable good..

or lots of overpaid piece-workers that demand top dollar to assemble auto components?

40 posted on 08/02/2003 12:45:59 AM PDT by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: Brian S
I'm 34 and have been self employed for the last 16 years. I worked construction, retail, office, and free lance.

I am a homeowner and currently work as a stock analyst.
41 posted on 08/02/2003 12:49:24 AM PDT by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: ffusco
So your talking about "pulling a crank" and you haven't a clue what a "crank" is...

You wouldn't last 3 hours in a production line... Union or Non-Union and from what you tell me, you better hope to hell that "line" is "union" or they'd laugh you right into the parking lot!
42 posted on 08/02/2003 12:56:49 AM PDT by Brian S ("Mount up everybody and ride to the sound of the gun!")
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To: ffusco
It's not rocket science.

No,it's not. They get paid to use their body. Visit a plant and talk to some workers and I'm sure you'll change your mind.

If an assembly worker assembles say, 60 engines per hour, and tightens 3 bolts , that's 1800 times a day (most work mandatory 10 hour days) that the worker's shoulder or hand is absorbing the torque from the gun. Of course those 3 bolts would only be a small part of the work done in one minute.

It's not a pro-union thing for me, I think autoworkers work hard for their money.

43 posted on 08/02/2003 1:02:46 AM PDT by Lijahsbubbe
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To: Brian S
You wouldn't last 3 hours in a production line..

Doubt it. I worked labor and construction for over ten years, roofing in July and humping sheetrock up 5 flights in NYC. My grandpa dug ditches for 30 years while my grandmother made guitar strings from cat gut.

Spare me your working class hero b.s.
44 posted on 08/02/2003 2:20:56 AM PDT by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: Lijahsbubbe
No,it's not. They get paid to use their body. Visit a plant and talk to some workers and I'm sure you'll change your mind.

You presume to know what I've done to get where I am?

Go pound sand.
45 posted on 08/02/2003 2:23:34 AM PDT by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: Lijahsbubbe
It's not a pro-union thing for me, I think autoworkers work hard for their money.

Your average day laborer works just as hard for 60 bucks a day, and he's happy to get it.

When I was a laborer it was 45, and was happy to get it. You'r average auto worker demands amost that much per hour in wages and benefits.

46 posted on 08/02/2003 2:30:51 AM PDT by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: ffusco
Pound sand? Whatever. You're an angry jerk and I'm thru with you. Bye.
47 posted on 08/02/2003 3:58:49 AM PDT by Lijahsbubbe
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To: snopercod
Maybe they should try making vehicles that run reliably...

The four Fords and one Lincoln I've owned in my lifetime have all been exceptionally reliable and economical vehicles. Perhaps Ford should just dump all their expensive American union workers and move all their production to china to improve their bottom line

48 posted on 08/02/2003 4:38:24 AM PDT by LIBERTARIAN JOE
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To: Lijahsbubbe
Good.
49 posted on 08/02/2003 7:38:57 AM PDT by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: Brian S
Bump.
50 posted on 08/05/2003 4:45:17 PM PDT by FR_addict
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