Ford to lay off salaried workers
May 28, 2008 - 9:00 am ET
Ford Motor Co. will lay off an undisclosed number of salaried employees this
summer and hopes to complete the reductions by Aug. 1, a spokesman told
Automotive News today.
Earlier today, Detroit media reported that Ford would cut 10 to 12 percent
of its salaried work force, or more than 2,000 employees.
"We're not going to comment on internal discussions we're having with our
employees," Ford spokesman Mark Truby said. "As soon as we finalize some of
these details, we're going to tell our employees as quickly as we can."
Because Ford wants the cuts made by August, the company doesn't expect to
offer voluntary packages, Truby said.
Last week Ford abandoned its goal of returning to profitability by 2009 amid
slumping U.S. light-truck sales. It also made sweeping production cuts,
slashing output by 15 percent in the second quarter compared with the same
quarter last year. Third- and fourth-quarter production will plunge as much
as 20 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
Ford said it will have more details about how it planned to cut costs by
The automaker entered this year's launch cycle with one-third third fewer
salaried workers than it had earlier this decade.
One of the real problems with Ford and other manufactures is organized
labor and the clinched fist around manufactures throats. I don't
expect manufactures will get rid of unions completely, though I wish
they could but, they should do everything to keep them in check.
Organized labor is one of the major problems with this countries
workforces, not in all case, for sure the auto industry. Organized
labor is a thing of the past and should be done away with.
----- Original Message -----
From: <Steven Craven>
Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2008 6:43 PM
Subject: Re: Ford to lay off salaried workers
I come from a long line of farmers with a history of antipathy towards labor
unions. However, having worked for a number of large corporations in my
life, I have come to see labor unions as necessary, if not desirable. You
may think that you are special and you don't need the protection of labor
union, and you may be, but most workers would be treated as peons by most
corporations if not for labor unions or the treat of labor unions. I have
worked for two different companies where I was told that the number one goal
of the human resources department was to make sure the company (or at least
the part of the company where I worked) did not unionize. To keep unions
out, these companies paid similar wages to unionized companies and provided
similar benefits to unionized companies. However, I am certain that if the
threat of unions was removed, the companies would have taken a much less
enlightened approach to employee relations. You only need to review how
workers were treated before labor unions became common to see what a world
without labor unions might be like.
I, too, have worked for several large companies, both union and non-union.
When I worked at Ford's Wayne Assembly plant back in the late 60's, early
70's, I thought the union was the best thing since sliced bread. That was my
first union job, and I had just gotten out of the service. Man, what a
difference in wage!
The last job I had (I'm retired now), I worked as a network admin at a plant
here in SC that was not union, but the parent plant in Ohio is. The wages
were competitive to the local area, but not so close to what the Ohio
workers were making even though the actual cost of living here is higher
than there- we have 3 military bases here, and that drives everything up. In
Ohio, there is nothing but farming all around the town, and no large
industry real close, so the COL is fairly low (I spent some time there
throughout my 20 year career, so I saw what things cost).
While I think unions were very useful when they started, and are still
useful to an extent, I feel they have way too much power. I don't think the
government should step in (God knows, they've got their noses in too much
stuff already!), but I do think there should be some checks and bounds
somewhere in the whole earnings scale. When I worked at Wayne, it seemed
every time we got a 2.5% raise, everything in Detroit went up 2.75%, so it
felt like we never got ahead.
Don't know where I'm going with this (if anywhere), but just had to vent a
little. Thanks for letting me post.
It never ceases to amaze me that a "free", anti-communist country like the
US would embrace trade onions with such fervor. Trade onions don't usually
make any distinction between a talented worker and a poor worker. Instead,
we are all lumped together... bad with good.. and the only claim to fame is
length of service. Trade onions can sap the desire to do better out of an
employee... They wont elevate under-achievers to great heights... but they
will take good guys down a peg or four...
The idea with communism is that we are all equal.... whether we are talented
at what we do or whether we aren't.... The idea with trade onions is that we
are all equal... whether we are talented at what we do or whether we aren't.
These entities stifle any urge to be "better".
Me? I always strive to improve my lot in life... I hone my skills, I improve
my product knowledge... I do those things that make ME more valuable as an
employee... In an onion atmosphere, these things don't matter... That next
promotion goes to the next guy in line - regardless of his abilities...
Trade onions? The only people getting rich are the deadbeats paid from the
fruits of someone elses labour...
The problem is that most of those mindless, repetitive, dangerous jobs
Unions helped to make safer have been automated. The blue collar jobs that
are left are ones that require the worker to be much more educated.
In a world without Unions where the jobs require education, there would be
a lot more wage disparity, since the workers who continued to educate
and become better and better would naturally command a lot more wages.
So it is quite understandable that the blue collar workers who are smart
enough to use a computer and post here, or elsewhere, or otherwise
make themselves heard, chafe against Unions. For them, the Union takes
away, no question about that.
But, the workers who didn't or couldn't "get it" would end up losing a lot
You have to evaulate the societal impact. If your a smart guy, without a
Union you would probably get more money.
But, what is the point if your taxes have to go up to support a larger
government assistance program which would probably be needed to
help keep the folks at the bottom of the barrel from starving?
My feeling is that if someone really, really hates unions, there are
plenty of places they can work without one. If someone don't like working
at a Union auto repair shop, then they can quit and go independent and open
their own repair shop. If they are as good as they think they are, they
be quite successful.
I too think Unions have outlived their usefulness. However, unlike most
people who seem to like running around and saying that, I do not see
the union as detrimental to society. I see it as neither helpful, nor
If people want to organize, great. If they don't, also great. If they are
a union and they want out, then quit and go work elsewhere. If they are
not in a union and want to be in one, then once more, quit and go work
elsewhere that has a union.
Fact is, I myself am a union member - of IBEW. However I am inactive,
and have been for 20 years, since I don't work in a shop that is unionized.
Years ago when my Dad was still alive, he worked for (what was then) Alberta
Government Telephones (now a privatized corporation called Telus).
Back then, the only way he was allowed to work for AGT was to become a
member of IBEW... He felt about the same way I do regarding onions... All
thew same, his onion dues were a freakin' payroll deduction... Not only did
he have to join - but they made him feel like he couildn't be trusted to
meet his dues on his own... nor was he given any sort of DEMOCRATIC choice..
Hmmm, the land of the "free", you say....
Monthly, he received a newsletter... including some heartfelt obituary
notice.... Every month, he would read about some old fart in the US biting
the big green wiener... Never once did I see an announcement indicating that
anyone in Canada had passed on... Apparently, there weren't enough members
in Canada at that time to make any fuss over - especially with onion dues
being a payroll deduction.
Years ago, trade onons were valuable in gaining rights for workers... Canada
was smart enough to enact labour laws to protect the worker making onions
redundant.... Today, there is a very real chance that trade onions are only
in existance to generate onion dues... and to make it hard for some
corporations to compete on a global scale...
Even now, locally, we have onionized floor sweepers making a much as skilled
workers.. WTF is that? Is it right that we should reward under-achievers?
Ted has it pretty well nailed... onionized workers.. the great
proletariat... will have undeserving people riding on the coat-tails of
those that actually deserve the financial recognition...
Here comes a surprise... I make good money... bennies aren't the best in the
world, but then it's my bed I'm making... I can choose for myself how I make
The reason I make good money is because I am good at what I do... I have
gotten to where I am through my own efforts.
As far back as the late sixties... back when I dropped out of school.. The
educational system was already beginning to deteriorate... Teachers were
denied corporal punishment (yes, I got my fair share of that in my younger
years... and I dispute none of it) as a means of retaining class attention
and involvement. Teachers became lack-lustre.... Curriculum was being
decided by those that didn't have to function in the real, wage-earning
world... And our schools are now churning out some of the most useless human
beings I have ever seen.
We have the "bell curve"... if everyone flunked the class, it must be the
teachers fault... It certainly couldn't be students that don't concentrate
or pay attention. And I'll admit that I know many teachers... most are
chagrined that a grade 8 drop-out is earning more than they are... Given
that teachers have the benefit of an onion - what is the problem?
None-the-less... trade onions smack of communism... good people are only as
good as the pretenders... and this stifles the human urge to excell - to be
better at ones craft.
In the early 70s, I was skinning cat on a onion jobsite for a
subcontractor... The trade onion came in and cleaned house. Those few of us
that weren't onion members were summarily dismissed.. but managed to get our
old jobs back - at the same wage (less onion dues, of course) that we were
previoulsy getting.... but only after some unemployed onion members decided
they didn't want to work there. FWIW, the working conditions were brutal and
the explanation would take several paragraphs.. it dealt with pouring molten
sulphur into something akin to concrete forms and then, once it cooled,
ripping and crushing the product to load into train cars.. you wouldn't want
to expose yourself to this kind of torture.
The word is "onion"... it will always be "onion".. if you feel the need to
have a trade onion doing your bidding for you, perhaps you might consider
trying to rise above the crowd in your endeavours.
Disclaimer... it can be hard work to achieve ones goals in life... who
woulda thunk? If I were trapped in a trade onion position today, I would not
have those things that I enjoy on my life... No matter my talents - no
matter my desire. There is every chance that I would be "Joe Average" and
reduce my output to that level of mediocrity that trade onions defend....
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