US:Ford workers Dearborn-bound
Ford workers Dearborn-bound
BY SONJA BARISIC
NORFOLK, Va. -- About a quarter of the 2,300 workers at Ford Motor Co.'s closing Norfolk plant likely will transfer to the automaker's Dearborn Truck plant, the company's director of truck manufacturing operations said Tuesday.
The Dearborn plant needs more than 500 workers for the third shift it will add next year to take over Norfolk's production of the F-150 pickup, said Ken Macfarlane, who oversees those plants as well as Ford's truck plants in Kansas City, Mo., and Louisville, Ky.
Macfarlane said he expects 400 to 500 Norfolk workers will want to transfer, so Ford should be able to give them all jobs. The company will assist with moving expenses, he said.
"We have a very good indication of how many have shown interest ... because we talk to our people every day," Macfarlane told reporters after speaking to the Norfolk Rotary Club about Ford's turnaround strategy.
"I think it's going to be between 400 and 500, and I don't think that's going to be a problem," Macfarlane said.
Ford has offered all 75,000 of its hourly workers nationwide a choice of eight buyout or early retirement offers. The deadline to make a decision is midnight Monday.
Only Ford's Norfolk workers were offered a ninth option of transferring, since Ford is consolidating production of the F-150, Macfarlane said.
Macfarlane said he was happy with the number of Norfolk workers who have indicated they will accept various packages. He declined to give figures, saying Ford will make a corporate announcement in the next week or so.
"What I can tell you is the interest level is exceptional," he said.
Ford announced in April that it would close the Norfolk plant in 2007 as part of its attempt to restore its North American operations to profitability. The plant previously had been scheduled to close in 2008.
Ford plans to eliminate 1,100 jobs at the plant in early January as it drops from two shifts to one, then shut the plant between July 1 and Sept. 30, according to a filing this month with the Virginia Employment Commission.
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.....