October 20, 2014

Elyria
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Rep. Lundy says Ford owes workers full disclosure

Matt Lundy

Matt Lundy

State Rep. Matt Lundy, D-Elyria, is asking Ford Motor Co. for answers after layoffs were announced at the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake. Lundy said it’s important to end speculation coming from the community, which is hurting workers and their families who have been affected.

In a letter sent Thursday to Bruce Hettle, vice president of North America manufacturing at Ford, Lundy asks the company to end confusion by providing more information to community leaders.

“I am writing today to express concern about what 2014 will present for the plant, the workers and their families. There is much confusion which is causing anxiety for the workers, their families and the community,” he wrote. “I am writing to ask that you please try to better inform us of employment numbers and timelines for the changes being made at the plan. It is understandable that plans are often fluid, but I think it’s important that those impacted have the ‘same’ information that is available at this time.”

The layoffs of approximately 900 employees — those with fewer than 22 years of seniority — were announced to union leaders Monday. Mary Springowksi, a United Auto Workers team leader at the plant, said layoffs were never mentioned at a Sunday rank-and-file meeting and workers were “blindsided.’’

She said workers were told they would only be sidelined for about five or six weeks for plant retooling for the new vehicle lines, but work on the new product line was pushed back until next year, according to a letter from plant manager Jeff Carrier to Tim Rowe, UAW Local 2000 chairman.

A Ford spokeswoman confirmed half of the staff would be laid off in August, but she did not comment further.

Lundy, who said he’s been in contact with Ford and other city leaders, asked that conjectures about the future of the company end until more facts are available.

“I don’t think anyone should be speculating at all,” he said.

In the letter to Ford, Lundy indicated that he would be willing to work with the company as it introduces the new product line of F-650 and F-750 trucks, expected to begin next year.

Lundy said the Avon Lake plant has the capacity to bring in other product lines, and he hopes it will do so.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.


  • stillsleepyeyes

    Well now ………………………if it wasn’t for him running for office you wouldn’t be hearing from him…………………grandstanding at his best……………….

  • SniperFire

    ‘ It is understandable that plans are often fluid ‘

    Then shut up about it.

  • Phil Blank

    Don’t any of these idiots watch the news on TV?
    The TV news said that Ford will no longer be making the van that used to be made there!

  • bigmacky

    bad photo – does he have epic gas? oh wait – the cheesy grin / deer in headlights is standard on politicians – I digress – every auto manufacturer has to change and adapt to the market or face the big padlock on the door – you don’t evolve – you close – and I agree – shameless plug – LOOK AT ME REMEMBER MY NAME!!!!!!

  • Mark B

    I wonder if Lundy will take his own words of wisdom and practice Full Disclosure when and if he is in Office ?

  • stop ur whining

    Ah…I love the smell of grandstanding in the morning.

  • JoyceEarly

    Funny how he interjects himself into the story when he has NOTHING to do with it.

  • billgreg65

    Since Lundy is close with the UAW maybe he can ask them how much they knew as well. I get a funny feeling that not everyone, including the UAW, is disclosing how much information they knew and when they knew it. I pray for the workers.

  • Sarah-Marie Winrod

    While shopping at the Amherst IGA, I ran into Commissioner Williams. During our conversation he received a call from the Government liason from Ford Motor Company. Commissioner Williams told them what he understood of the issue:

    Ford was investing $75 Million into the Avon Lake facility and in return agreed to employ at least 1400 employees over the next 15 years. If they failed to meet the employment levels, they would lose the $15 million in tax incentives from the State of Ohio. During the renovations, the plant would lay off employees starting this summer and end in the second quarter of 2015.

    Commissioner Williams stated that the Ford liason joked with him about being the only official that understood the details and asked if he wanted to work for her. Commissioner Williams asked if the facility could receive another product at the plant, Would the plant have the capacity to handle it? Ford stated Avon Lake was one of the few facilities in the country that had the capability of handling a new product. When Commissioner Williams asked about the employees, he was told they were still observing how many people were needed during the renovations and if transfers could be made to Brookpark or if workers could receive early retirement.

    The call ended with Ford thanking Mr. Williams for sharing correct information with the public and that they would contact him later with more information.
    It is humorous that a state representative can write a letter to Ford and receive an article in the press, but our county Commissioner takes time to call Ford’s liason, obtains accurate information, and nowhere has this story been covered. Thank you Commissioner Williams for acquiring answers needed to inform the public.

    Commissioner Williams’s personal phone number is always available for his public constituency; he accepts calls at any time. Feel free to reach out to Commissioner Williams at: (440) 986-0327.

    • JoyceEarly

      As usual, Williams is on point. While Lundy is begging to be in the loop.

  • toolman50

    No matter what anyone says, there will be permanent job loss at this facility. How many? Nobody knows for sure. Will they keep a level of 1400 employees to get the tax break, I doubt it. One thing that is for sure is that the E-Series van is history in June. They will continue to build the E-Series cutaway version for a period of time and possibly begin the production of the F-650 and F-750 next year as well if Ford follows through on it. What people don’t understand is that the F-650/750 is a low volume vehicle. Ford sold 8,682 of these in 2013. Divide that by 12 months and again by approximately 20 production days a month and you get about 35-40 units a day. This vehicle, along with the cutaway are basically a cab on a frame. There are many components that will no longer be needed to be installed on the assembly line. Rear doors, rear and side glass, rear bumpers, tail lights, rear seating, etc. These are only a few, the list is long. The new Transit van that is replacing the E-Series will have cutaway versions as well. With the one shift format there will be reductions in the maintenance and stock departments too. Bottom line….you won’t need 1800 employees to put these things together at Ohio Assembly. Walton Hills Stamping Plant will close when the van ceases production, that’s another 400 jobs lost.