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Old 08-20-2003, 06:46   #1 (permalink)
Mr. Embargo
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Embargoland
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Usa: Power Up; Ford Motor Company Facilities Returning To Normal Following Blackout

Ford Motor Company is working with energy utilities in Michigan, Ohio, Ontario and other areas to restore full power and resume normal operations in the aftermath of the largest power outage in United States history.

All facilities outside of Canada, including those initially impaired by the blackout, are planning to resume normal operations Monday, with some shifts returning today as regularly scheduled. Precise timing of start-ups may vary at each plant, depending upon local utility requirements and the operations at suppliers. Hourly workers are advised to use their usual hotlines regarding shift start-ups.

Canadian plants are expected to resume operations more gradually than those in the U.S. because of requests to industry by the Ontario government to cut energy use by half to prevent further blackouts in the province.

Salaried workers, administrative personnel, and people in Ford Motor Company research and testing facilities are expected to return to work as normal Monday morning. Tap drinking water and food service will not be available in all facilities, particularly in southeastern Michigan where a "boil water" advisory was still in effect. The Company will make bottled water available where possible, but employees are being asked to bring additional water and food supplies with them to work.

The power outage that began Thursday caused disruption at a number of Ford Motor Company facilities, which tend to be concentrated in the area of the blackout. More than half of Ford Motor Company's 44 plants in North America were shut down, as were numerous office, engineering and product development facilities in southeastern Michigan. Other facilities were affected by disruptions in parts supply lines. However, the timing of the blackout before a weekend and the quick response of numerous teams of employees prevented more lasting damage.

Some critical operations, including the Ford Motor Credit Company subsidiary, switched to battery backups and generators immediately after the blackout occurred to maintain data and continue serving retail customers and dealers. Other personnel helped restore communications networks and prepare facilities for work.

In addition to working with utilities and government agencies, Ford was coordinating efforts with suppliers in southeastern Michigan that were also forced to curtail operations when the blackout occurred. Any production losses resulting from the outages are expected to be made up by the end of the year.

Employees seeking further updates should refer to local TV and radio, manufacturing hotlines, ford.com, FCN online and the Ford Motor Company Employee Network.
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