UAW leadership for all FoMoCo plants in the US met yesterday afternoon under direction of UAW head Ron Gettelfinger and Bob King, the new veep in charge of contract talks with the Dearborn-based automaker. Although local leaders speculated the topic of the meeting was buyouts, specifically the company-wide kind — no one knew for sure. The Freep's Sarah Webster reports the meeting focused on what might be done to help the automaker with as many ailments as autos and the UAW's statement backs that report up:
"Local union leaders met today to discuss the ideas and input of UAW-Ford workers about the current situation at Ford. We're focused on our continued efforts to deliver top-quality vehicles to consumers, because UAW members know that the surest route to job security is a strong recovery for Ford in its core North American market."
Webster's also reporting that workers at FoMoCo's Woodhaven stamping plant have ratified a new agreement that allows for Ford to offer more than 325 buyouts phased in through the remainder of the year.
While that's good and all — if the reported goal of shedding 25% of the automakers 140,000-strong NorAm workforce is correct, 325 is merely a drop in the bucket. We really hope they aren't going stamping plant by stamping plant to finish up the other 34, 675 buyouts — cause the "Way Forward" will end up becoming the "Way Forever" plan.
Breaking! Ford To Expand Buyouts To All North American Factory Workers [internal]