Here come the pink slips for the white-collar guys and gals at Ford. And to speed up the exodus, 6 preprogrammed tags have been added to those termination notices. Actually, Ford Motor Co. is starting to offer buyouts to many of its salaried employees to help trim its U.S. payroll. As many as 85 percent of each department's workers will get the option of the buyout. Ford is looking to rid itself of 10,000 of its 38,500 salaried workers by 2008.

If the buyouts don't produce big enough cuts, layoffs will be used. Ford already got 38,000 hourly workers to sign up for buyout programs earlier this year. This new program was started in October. They started making the offers to salaried workers and senior managers and are now going after lower level managers and non-management workers.

Follow the jump for more details.

[Source: The Detroit News]

Managers are being given additional training in helping to present the offers to effected workers. It can't be easy during the Holidays especially, and most of the workers only have until Jan. 5 to decide. Although it is a serious matter, there is an almost comical part of the training that gives managers 6 options to choose to tell workers why they are no longer needed:

"You are part of a group that was selected for reductions based on business reasons."

"Your position may be eliminated or downgraded."

"Your skills are not in line with future business plans."

"You are unlikely to have your career ambitions met."

"You are presently on a protected grade and there is not a strong likelihood of being able to return to your prior level."

"You meet the service requirements and we have a salaried cost target to meet."

However they choose to word it, these salaried buyouts and layoffs will be much tougher on Ford and the workers. Placing hourly workers or getting them into reeducation programs is much easier than doing the same for managers and the like. Hopefully those that get the offers will be able to use them to their best advantage and layoffs won't be necessary.

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