• Jun 12th 2006 at 3:07PM
  • 21
Michael Stawasz was one of 4,000 salaried workers at Ford who lost his job last January when the company launched its Way Forward restructuring plan. Stawasz was nine months short of his 30th anniversary with Ford, which meant he narrowly missed being able to retire with full benefits. About two dozen other ex-Ford employees are suing the company to get the benefits they feel they've earned, so imagine Stawasz's surprise when he received the above certificate in the mail along with a letter from Bill Ford Jr. congratulating him on 30 years of service.

Does Bill's well wishes mean Stawasz and his colleagues will be getting their full retirement benefits? Not according to Ford, which says it didn't mean to insult but rather wanted to honor the defendants. Also included in the package from Ford were plastic rings to determine the right size for a celebratory ring and a catalogue from which to pick a gift. Full retirement benefits were not to be found in the catalogue among the gifts for which Stawasz was eligible.

[Source: Detroit News]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      It will only further add to their court case. I'm pretty sure these people will be getting their desired package.

      • 9 Years Ago
      Bill Ford: do the right thing. I am sure there is no one in your organization malicious enough to intentionally cut out long-serving employees approaching 30 years of service just to save a few pennies, and they just happen to be part of the larger group of employees to be let go. However, you must be aware that respectable companies often bridge the time to full retirement benenfits for those employees in exactly this kind of situation, i.e. less than X number of months to retirement, and in good standing. Do the right thing Bill. Tell us the numerous touchy-feely "we innovate, we're the best, we care (for customers, shareholders, EMPLOYEES)" ads, starring...YOU!..., are for real...and not merely expensive photoshoots. Thank you!!!
      • 9 Years Ago
      sounds like a CYA move to me, SPIN... thats all that is. It was a screw up and now they are trying to save face.
      • 9 Years Ago
      harty har har......
      • 9 Years Ago
      Yeah it sucks to be him. That being said, this whole notion of pensions is just ridiculous.

      Let me get this straight - you are no longer employed by the company, but they still pay you? Moreover, you are a laborer we don't need you anymore. Instead of just firing you, we're gonna give you a ridiculous amount of cash to split. Huh? Sure if it's somebody that knows something, you give them golden handcuffs out of necessity, but line work is manual labor. It deals in no corporate secrets.

      This is like some 20 year old thinking Social Security, and the Prescription Drug benefit will still be there for you. Then being surprised when it is not there.

      Those who bothered to actually read knew all of this was coming for 30 years.

      It was a great ride for autoworkers on grand delusions and borrowed money. In reality, no economy can ever support completely unskilled manual labor (or even low level white collar) making huge money with gold-plated benefits. The average UAW worker costs over $80 an hour with wages and benes. That's simply untenable for a job that has lower skill-set requirements than most of fast food. A carpenter, electrician, heavy equip operator have to have training and some intellectual acumen to earn that kind of money.

      The sense of entitlement that so many people feel in the (quasi)domestic auto industry is reflected in the fruits of their 'labor'. They continue to blame everyone but themselves - when it all goes tits up, they'll still forget to look in the mirror.
      • 9 Years Ago
      This looks just like something you'd see in the cartoon "Dilbert". What incompetence and arrogance! When will corporate America wake up & realize that their PEOPLE are what makes them succeed or fail? Ford Upper Management should be really ashamed of themselves. Way to put salt on a raw wound....
      • 9 Years Ago

      Wow, that's below the belt.
      • 9 Years Ago
      that's pretty great investing your life working for a company you have so much pride for and then you get it in the ass.

      Ford is such a great company. Give out those freebie ass rape.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I am one of the first to say buy American.....but If I was one of those Ex-emplyoee's I'd run to get a Toyota and pull up in front with your lawyer......9 months short of full benefits........That just sucks!!!!
      • 9 Years Ago
      Dr Woo: "Did you miss this excerpt?

      ___[Ford] says it didn't mean to insult but rather wanted to honor the defendants.___

      Sounds like it was intentional to me."

      Blah... If anything the whole AFA/LGBT/Ford fiasco taught me that if there is ever a cognative disconnect within that company it's centered around the legal/PR departments. I very much doubt it was intentional, and if it was it was a "well, we already paid Jostens so we might as well let them get a ring" dumb-type of intentional. Either way, I'm guessing that quote was taken waaaaaay out of context.

      This is not an Enron-level corporate screwup. It seems much more like some pissy employees with an ironic story trying to capitalize on it and get what they feel Ford "owes" them.

      If they get it, good for them, if they don't... I'm sure 29 years of experience will either land them a new job in no-time, or let them sue some new automotive corporation for being Ageist.
      • 9 Years Ago
      " Full retirement benefits were not to be found in the catalogue among the gifts for which Stawasz was eligible."
      I wish that Ford bosses give the workers the full benefit. It is really a sad matter for the workers.
      • 9 Years Ago
      It doesn't surprise me. Ford has a big bureaucracy and the left hand doesn't usually know what the right hand has done. I know exactly how Mr. Stawasz feels. Where I worked, I received a plaque for working 20 years and the next week, I was "downsized". Three months later, I received a letter that scheduled me for training to work on a "special project".

      Having said that, most companies who claim to treat their employees with respect would give some form of continuance if the (former) employee's tenure was within a year of specific milestones.

    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X