Ford Assures Factory Worker Jobs Will Be Shifted, Won't Be Cut

(Bloomberg) -- A United Auto Workers union local is warning of as many as 230 layoffs at a Ford Motor Co. factory in Michigan, though the company says workers will be offered jobs at another plant.

In a letter posted inside Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission Plant, UAW Local 228 leaders write the factory faces a possible indefinite layoff in March 2019. The letter, a copy of which was seen by Bloomberg News, says that the local is working with the union’s top leaders in Detroit “to avoid any layoff and continue to protect the job security of our members.”

Ford says the move will be similar to the changes announced last month in which about 1,150 workers will be transferred from factories producing slow-selling products to plants making cars and parts that are in greater demand. This contrasts with General Motors Co.’s plan to close four U.S. factories and eliminate thousands of jobs, which has drawn the ire of President Donald Trump.

“All full-time hourly employees affected will be offered jobs at another Ford plant,” Kelli Felker, a Ford spokeswoman, said in an email Thursday. “As we continue to rebalance our production to match capacity with customer demand, we are planning a reduction of approximately 230 jobs at Van Dyke Transmission Plant in the first quarter of 2019.”

Van Dyke Transmission employs about 1,550 workers and is located in Sterling Heights, Michigan, just north of Detroit. The 50-year-old factory produces automatic transmissions for Explorer, Edge, Escape and Flex SUVs and Transit Connect vans.

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