November 23, 2014


Letter to union: ‘Solution’ to Ford layoffs to be presented Monday

Union officials have proposed a number of alternatives to blunt planned layoffs in August at Ford’s Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Union officials were notified that a compromise to the planned August layoffs at the Ohio Assembly Plant would be announced Monday. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Local United Auto Workers and Ford Motor Co. are expected to approve a solution that will “best meet the needs” of the plant and workforce of the Ohio Assembly Plant on Monday, according to a letter to the union members.

A letter sent to the Ohio Assembly Plant workforce on Friday indicated that the union and Ford officials were nearing a solution after negotiations this week to determine how to best proceed with impending layoffs that will affect half of the plant’s workforce.

The layoffs, which were announced Jan. 13, would affect employees with 22 years or fewer of experience. Those workers, who will be laid off in August and could number as many as 900, were not given an indication if or when they would be called back.

Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka said that he was confident that many of the employees would be called back after retooling for a new product line, while others would be transferred elsewhere.

The letter, sent Friday and signed by Ohio Assembly Plant Manager Jeff Carrier and UAW Chairman Tim Rowe, indicated that a solution would be approved Monday.

“As a result of our extensive discussions concerning the future of Ohio Assembly and our people, we believe we have identified solutions that best meet the needs of our plant and our entire workforce. Given the importance of these discussions, our proposed solutions are being evaluated by senior leadership and we anticipate a finalized approval on Monday, Jan. 27,” the letter read.

Union officials did not return calls for comment on the negotiations.

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

  • toolman50

    I suspect the “solution” will be in the form of another round of buyouts. Ford will likely stick to the original employment numbers even if it means losing some of the tax deal dollars for not having 1,400 employees at the plant for 15 years. The buyouts will be similar to those offered in the past. The only one that will possibly be different will be for those with 20 but less than 30 years of service. This will consist of a reduced pension amount along with other benefits. Ford isn’t going to give you something for nothing.
    As for the rest, nobody knows. Kansas City will be hiring 800 people towards the end of the year when they add a 2nd shift for the new Transit. Ford has spent $1.1B to retool and upgrade that plant compared to the proposed $128M investment in Ohio Assembly. Maybe Avon Lake people will have the opportunity to fill some of those jobs. Some will be hesitant to leave for a new job and life that is 650 miles away.