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US:Ford extends labor code to foreign suppliers

Ford extends labor code to foreign suppliers

Changes part of the company's new strategy to build closer, more stable ties with fewer suppliers

Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. Chairman and CEO Bill Ford Jr. said Wednesday that the company is starting to hold its foreign suppliers to the same "code of basic working conditions" it follows in its own factories.

Bill Ford said the labor policy, which is based on established international standards, provides for training and third-party assessment of working conditions at foreign factories.

"We believe it's the farthest-reaching code in our industry," he said, noting that the same rules were adopted by Ford itself in 2003. "Last year, we extended this code to our suppliers."

The changes were part of the company's new supplier strategy that seeks to build closer and more stable ties with fewer suppliers.

"Addressing the challenges that come with the new global realities we face is essential to our continued success," Bill Ford said.

Tony Brown, Ford's vice president of global purchasing, said the automaker is actively inspecting its foreign partners operations, using both planned and surprise visits to ensure compliance with the new ethical standards. A "cottage industry" has sprung up around the globe to help factories pass such inspections.

"We're not naïve to that," Brown said.

"If you have a country that is, if you will, less developed in terms of how it treats human rights itself then that would be a higher priority country for us," he said. "We're talking about China, we're talking about Mexico, we're talking about Turkey, Romania and India."

My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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