Buzz Hargrove and the CAW gave many concessions in a contract that was to save jobs at GM. In response GM cløses a plant. Stephen Harper offers Ford 80 million to help preserve jobs. In response Ford cuts 500 jobs.
Ford to cut 500 jobs in Oakville, Ont.
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 12:39 PM ET
Ford Motor Co. plans to cut 500 jobs from its Oakville, Ont., plant as the slumping U.S. car market has hurt the sales outlook for its vehicles, the company said Wednesday.
But the union representing the Ford workers, the Canadian Auto Workers, said it believes the actual number of people ending up on the unemployment lines will be much smaller after retirement buyouts are completed.
"Now, there are a large number of people eligible to retire at the Oakville plant. And we're in the middle of canvassing the plant for people to leave in that facility," CAW's Bob Chernecki told CBC News. Flagging car sales prompt job cuts at Ford's Oakville plant. (CBC)
Ford is chopping the positions from its paint and body shop because it is phasing out a third shift for car production.
"It's tailoring production to market conditions," said Ford Canada spokesperson Lauren More.
Earlier this year, the company hired 350 new workers for the assembly portion of the plant and moved 150 people from other facilities to populate the one-year old paint shop.
The moves were in anticipation of working on a new crossover vehicle and increasing output of two other models, the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX.
Instead, Ford has reduced its sales outlook, eliminating the need for a third production shift at its plant southwest of Toronto.
In July, Ford cancelled the third assembly shift, eliminating the need for 350 assembly workers. These employees had not actually begun work at Ford.
Without the shift, Ford won't need as many people for the paint and body shop, Chernecki said.
The Edge and the MKX were among the few bright spots for Ford this year in a market battered by high gasoline prices and the U.S. housing collapse.
But in recent months, U.S. sales of those two models have fallen. Edge deliveries dropped two per cent in August and six per cent in July from year-earlier levels, although sales rose 12 per cent in the first eight months of this year.
In Oakville, Ford is offering retirement packages worth in excess of $75,000 to employees, possibly opening positions for the affected workers.
More would not speculate as to whether layoffs would be necessary if not enough workers took the buyouts.
"We're at the early stages in the offering," she said.