Over 2006 and 2007, Ford lost $15.3 billion. Over that same time and in light of those losses, the company also shed 33,600 union workers through buyouts and early retirement. Still working through the uphill part of the turnaround, Ford has announced it wants to eliminate another 8,000 to 9,000 factory jobs through buyouts.
If 8,000 workers end up leaving, that's almost 12 percent of Ford's current workforce walking out the door. They'll leave with benefits and a buyout that ranges from $50,000 to $70,000 depending on whether the position is a skilled trade. While it might seem like a lot of money, the point is that with the new labor agreement, Ford can hire new workers -- when the time comes -- for $26 to $31, instead of the $60-per-hour it pays now. The UAW figures the salary change could save Ford $1,000 per car.

Although 8,000 buyouts is Ford's target, the company is willing to accept more workers leaving. The offer has been extended to workers at four shuttered factories, and will be expanded next week to others. Those who don't want buyouts can be transferred to another factory. And if they don't accept the buyout or relocation, then they "will be placed on a 'no-pay, no-benefit leave,'" which sounds a lot less appealing than a 5-figure check.

[Source: Bloomberg]

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