Shortages have disrupted operations across the automobile industry for nearly two years and automakers, such as the Ford Motor Co., are continuing to adjust production schedules.
Ford is preparing to trim production at four big assembly plants this summer in Kansas City, Missouri, Louisville, Kentucky and Chicago, Illinois, according to a memo circulated to hourly employees at the company’s Chicago Stamping plant, which feeds part to all four plants.
“Chicago stamping will be implementing a week-to-week temporary starting Monday, June 20. The temporary layoff will continue Sunday, September 11 with the plan to return to full-scale production on Monday, September 12,” according to copy of the memo reviewed by thedetroitbureau.com.
The memo offers employees the opportunity to volunteer for temporary layoffs, which could extend through the summer months. The temporary layoff is likely to appeal to employees with school-age children who are off from school.
Changes help employees
Ford also announced recently it was converting some 3,000 temporary employees, who in the past would have been the first employees idled by a temporary layoff.
By making the temporary employees full time under the company’s contract with the United Auto Workers, the employees are eligible for some benefits. The shift also allows more senior full-time employees to take their place for voluntary layoff with unemployment compensation and supplemental unemployment benefits.
The changes, which were praised by the UAW, also helps Ford retain experienced workers, who might have moved to other jobs during a layoff and not been inclined to return at a time when manufacturing companies are facing challenges in keeping employees.
However, like other automakers, Ford is trying to increase production to refill depleted inventories, which have slowed sales — dropping more than 20 % across the industry during May. Ford outpaced the competition and gained market share.
But the cuts outlined in the memo from Chicago Stamping could put pressure on inventories of the F-150 and Transit Vans built in Kansas City, Ford Explorers and Police Interceptors built at the Chicago plant next to the Chicago Stamping plant, and the Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigators and F-Series Super Duty built at Kentucky Truck plant and the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair built at Ford’s Louisville Assembly plant.