Motor Co. is offering its hourly workers a number of early retirement and buyout packages in what it says will be the last such nationwide campaign, the Associated Press says.
The auto maker is offering the packages to some 54,000 United Auto Workers union-represented employees.
has not set specific targets on the number of workers it is hoping to shed in the latest buyout round. However, officials have said the ultimate objective is to align production capacity with market demand.
Since the auto maker began launching periodical buyout campaigns in 2005, roughly 34,000 hourly employees have left the company.
Ford now is looking to clear out its jobs bank, from which laid-off employees receive most of their pay for not working. Fewer than 700 workers remain in the program.
The auto maker also wants to sell or shutter the 11 remaining Automotive Components Holdings LLC plants by year’s end. ACH is composed of orphaned manufacturing plants and other facilities Ford acquired from former subsidiaryCorp. in 2005.
Upon the dissolution of ACH, some 5,200 workers will be offered positions vacated by employees who accepted buyout packages.
As outlined in Ford’s new 4-year UAW labor contract last fall, new hires will be offered about half the pay now earned by hourly workers.
Ford says the latest round of buyout packages are designed to keep up morale among the remaining workers and provide opportunities to departing employees.
“In doing this in a voluntary and very humane way, it makes it a lot easier for our employees who are staying with us to transition to a different Ford,” Joe Hinrichs, group vice president of global manufacturing, tells the AP.
Ford is offering 10 different packages to employees in this latest round of buyouts that range from lump-sum cash payments to education assistance so workers can learn new trades. Eligibility for the packages depends largely on seniority and whether a worker is classified as skilled or non-skilled.
The auto maker will be offering the buyouts in two stages. The first, already under way, is targeted at employees in facilities slated for closing under Ford’s ongoing North American restructuring strategy. Those workers have until Feb. 28 to accept one of eight buyout packages and must leave the company by March 1.
A second stage is set for Feb. 18-March 17, and includes all of Ford’s 54,000 hourly workers. Most employees accepting buyouts in this round would depart by April 1, with all separations to be completed by year-end.