Ford closing day care centers to cut costs

Ford closing day care centers to cut costs http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070126/UPDATE/701260449
DEARBORN -- Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers are notifying parents
of 895 local children today that day care facilities will be closed on June 29 as part of cost saving measures.
The centers are operated by Bright Horizon Family Solutions, a Watertown, Mass. company which runs day care centers for large corporations and organizations.
Five of the centers for Ford employees are located in Southeastern Michigan with a sixth in Louisville and another in Kansas City. The Michigan centers are located in Ypsilanti, Sterling Heights, Livonia and two in Dearborn. Workers at the centers were told today their last day will be June 29. The company will negotiate a severance package for the employees. Workers were warned not to talk about the shutdown.
The closing decision was based strictly on economics, said Ford.
"The business realities in the current restructuring initiatives that we are working through right now forced us to make the difficult decision to discontinue the child care services," said Tom Hoyt, a spokesman for Ford.
UAW officials did not return telephone calls.
Hoyt would not say how much the automaker will save by the closing or if Ford or the UAW subsidizes the child care program in anyway.
"I can't comment on that," Hoyt said. "Day care isn't our business. We're in the auto business. We're certainly concerned and it was a difficult decision to discontinue the childcare."
The closings come on the heels of Ford's announcement Thursday that it had lost a record $12.7 billion in 2006.
Hoyt said Ford and the UAW will provide resources to help parents find alternatives for child care.
But some parents said they weren't happy about the decision and wondered how they would find safe daycare centers with flexible hours to match plant schedules.
One mother, a salaried Ford employee with two young children attending one of the centers, said she doesn't know what she'll do about daycare if she has to stay at work extra hours to complete a job.
"I'm dismayed over this," said the mother, who didn't want her named published because of concerns about her job. "There will be so many children displaced. I'm concerned there won't be enough alternative day care to handle all the children."
Finding a suitable new daycare, she said, is time consuming.
"I'm sure Ford will provide recourses to help us find day care," she said. "However, I've used those resources in the past. It's not easy finding a safe place that provides a good learning environment."
She said she pays $1,200 to $1,300 a month for child care -- a fee she said was slightly lower than the going rate in private daycares.
A Ford white-collar worker sent an e-mail to The Detroit News, upset after he heard the day care centers were closing.
"We used to be a Ford family," said the F series engineer who also asked that his name not be published.
"This was the last true benefit that enabled significant productivity by us. While collar folks who work long and late -- for no overtime -- could be comforted by the fact that a high quality center was teaching and protecting our children," he added.
-- "If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed,if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly,you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival.There may even be a worse case;you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory,because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." ---Winston Churchill
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This reminds me of a company that wants to make its employees happy. The company has free food in the lunch rooms or cafeterias, a day-care center near its HQ, and great benefits. It also has things like on-sites docs, 401ks, and free snacks.
I guess the employees are happy because there is like a 2% turnover rate. Which is pretty low in the tech industry.
And the company calls its employees "googlers."
Happy employees are productive employees.
Jeff

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employee moral at Ford must be in the gutter. Ford should realize that potential customers see this kind of news.
Ford closing day care centers to cut costs http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070126/UPDATE/701260449
DEARBORN -- Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers are notifying parents of 895 local children today that day care facilities will be closed on June 29 as part of cost saving measures.
The centers are operated by Bright Horizon Family Solutions, a Watertown, Mass. company which runs day care centers for large corporations and organizations.
Five of the centers for Ford employees are located in Southeastern Michigan with a sixth in Louisville and another in Kansas City. The Michigan centers are located in Ypsilanti, Sterling Heights, Livonia and two in Dearborn. Workers at the centers were told today their last day will be June 29. The company will negotiate a severance package for the employees. Workers were warned not to talk about the shutdown.
The closing decision was based strictly on economics, said Ford.
"The business realities in the current restructuring initiatives that we are working through right now forced us to make the difficult decision to discontinue the child care services," said Tom Hoyt, a spokesman for Ford.
UAW officials did not return telephone calls.
Hoyt would not say how much the automaker will save by the closing or if Ford or the UAW subsidizes the child care program in anyway.
"I can't comment on that," Hoyt said. "Day care isn't our business. We're in the auto business. We're certainly concerned and it was a difficult decision to discontinue the childcare."
The closings come on the heels of Ford's announcement Thursday that it had lost a record $12.7 billion in 2006.
Hoyt said Ford and the UAW will provide resources to help parents find alternatives for child care.
But some parents said they weren't happy about the decision and wondered how they would find safe daycare centers with flexible hours to match plant schedules.
One mother, a salaried Ford employee with two young children attending one of the centers, said she doesn't know what she'll do about daycare if she has to stay at work extra hours to complete a job.
"I'm dismayed over this," said the mother, who didn't want her named published because of concerns about her job. "There will be so many children displaced. I'm concerned there won't be enough alternative day care to handle all the children."
Finding a suitable new daycare, she said, is time consuming.
"I'm sure Ford will provide recourses to help us find day care," she said. "However, I've used those resources in the past. It's not easy finding a safe place that provides a good learning environment."
She said she pays $1,200 to $1,300 a month for child care -- a fee she said was slightly lower than the going rate in private daycares.
A Ford white-collar worker sent an e-mail to The Detroit News, upset after he heard the day care centers were closing.
"We used to be a Ford family," said the F series engineer who also asked that his name not be published.
"This was the last true benefit that enabled significant productivity by us. While collar folks who work long and late -- for no overtime -- could be comforted by the fact that a high quality center was teaching and protecting our children," he added.
-- "If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed,if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly,you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival.There may even be a worse case;you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory,because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." ---Winston Churchill
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