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US:UAW plans protest at Ford HQ

UAW plans protest at Ford HQ

Union wants new products built in Wixom and opposes work going to Mexico.

Detroit News staff and wire reports

The United Auto Workers will stage a rally Friday at Ford Motor Co.'s Dearborn headquarters to protest the lack of new products planned for Ford's Wixom assembly plant and the automaker's intention to build a trio of new sedans in Mexico.

Leaders of UAW Local 36, which represents workers at the Wixom plant, sent a letter to members earlier this month asking them to join a two-hour demonstration at the Glass House. The union wants to send a message to Ford that Wixom has a quality work force that deserves new products and the job security they will provide.

"We build the best American luxury cars," UAW leaders said in the letter, "built in America not Mexico. We will communicate our message not only to Ford Motor Co., but to our community. We deserve a new product."

Calls to UAW officials were not returned Tuesday night.

Ford builds the Lincoln LS and Town Car sedans as well as the Ford Thunderbird convertible in Wixom. U.S. sales last year fell 8.2 percent for the Town Car and 19 percent for the LS.

Ford has not publicly committed to building future vehicles in Wixom after the current models are phased out.

Workers at the plant have been on edge about their future since the automaker said it would build the new Lincoln Zephyr, Mercury Milan and Ford Fusion sedans in Hermosillo, Mexico.

Ford spokeswoman Francine Romine said Tuesday that no decision has been made about building new products in Wixom.

"Wixom has a great work force, and we have not made any announcement about future product," she said.

Thunderbird output is scheduled to end after 2006, but Romine said production would be extended, although she did not say how long. The company has not yet made a decision about the future of the LS.

Built in 1957, Wixom is one of North America's largest assembly plants but is now surrounded by some of the most prime residential and commercial real estate in Metro Detroit.

Once an economic pillar in the northern Oakland County community, the plant now operates on just one work shift and produces fewer than half of the vehicles that a typical American auto plant builds in a year.

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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