Last day for Ford salaried workers to take buyouts

Take it and run-very quickly
Last day for Ford salaried workers to take buyouts
Today is the last day for the last wave of Ford Motor Co.'s salaried workers -- those who were offered buyout packages Jan. 5 -- to accept a deal and leave the company.
Those who do will have another seven days to change their minds, Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans said.
Salaried workers in North America, who primarily work in Michigan, are curious to see whether the company hit its target for white-collar reductions. If so, that might eliminate the need for involuntary layoffs.
"It's just a little too early for us to know at this point," Evans said of potential layoffs. She said the company has said it would resort to layoffs "only if it's necessary."
Evans expects information about the number of workers who accepted buyouts won't be available until April, when the company releases its financial results for the first quarter.
Dearborn-based Ford, which lost a record $12.7 billion last year, is hoping to shed about 10,000 white-collar workers this year; 4,000 left the company in 2006.
As part of its Way Forward restructuring plan, which calls for closing 16 factories and upgrading the entire Ford, Mercury and Lincoln lineups by 2010, Ford has said it was aiming to cut 44,000 workers in all -- 14,000 salaried workers and 30,000 hourly UAW workers.
In November, Ford revealed that 38,000 hourly workers had signed up for one of eight buyout packages.
Younger workers have said they are hopeful that those workers don't change their minds before they leave, as they are legally permitted to do. Ford has not yet concluded whether UAW layoffs will be necessary, even though the company overshot its target on buyouts.
Ford had 126,000 workers in North America at the end of 2006. If it accomplishes its 44,000-reduction target, the automaker will have one-third fewer workers on the continent.
-- "If they pull a knife, you pull a gun. If they put one of yours in the hospital, you put one of theirs in the morgue." Sean Connery, "The Untouchables"
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