Perhaps 'fired' is the wrong word, as that does imply that these white collar workers did something wrong. The only thing some 12% of Ford's salaried workforce did wrong is get hired by a company that dug itself into a hole relying on strong truck and SUV sales during the 1990s. Now, with consumers avoiding gas-hungry vehicles, the restructuring effort faltering amidst high gas prices, and news that the company has abandoned its goal of returning to profitability in 2009... cutting more salaried workers was inevitable.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally told reporters last week that sales of big trucks and SUVs crashed once gas hit $3.50 per gallon. In April, full-sized pickups accounted for 11 percent of sales. By the second week of May, the number had fallen to just 9 percent. "I don't think we've ever seen a decline week over week like this," Mulally said. "It was clear to us it was time to act." And act they did. While details have not been finalized, Ford expects to eliminate up to 12 percent of its salaried work force (with about 24,300 white-collar workers in the States, this means more than 2,000 positions will be gone). Ford Vice President Jim Farley couldn't sugar-coat the news, but he did try to spread the doom around when he spoke to his employees on Friday, saying "I would expect other car companies to make similar announcements... they have the same issues that we do -- even Toyota."

[Source: The Detroit News]