Ford "Prepared" For Buyout Failure
Ford CEO Alan Mulally told Bloomberg that the Blue Oval is prepared to cut more jobs if their employee buyout package fails to meet its goals. Coming the day after the close of the buyout package, Mulally's comments indicate that the effort was not a stunning success. "We don't have all the data yet," Mulally said of the buyouts. "This is just one step in the process. We have a lot of different mechanisms to right-size the place.'" Mullaly declined to provide further details, preferring that industry watchers simply savor the delicious irony of that classic euphemism "right-sizing." If the buyout package has indeed failed to reach its 8,500 minimum-taker mark, it wasn't for lack of Ford's efforts to convince its employees to run while they can. "The old ways of doing business are gone," wrote manufacturing chief Joe Hinrichs and VP for labor affairs Marty Mulloy in a cheerful op-ed which was distributed to newspapers in Ford factory towns. "We must continue to downsize and simply will not have enough jobs for all of our current hourly workers."
It is really starting to look like it won't be if they go bankrupt but when.
GEN = Guaranteed Employment Number. Ford has more people than jobs, but has to keep a minimum number of people employed if that makes sense. The ones who don't have positions in the plants go into the GEN pool, where they show up every day to play cards, sleep, watch TV or whatever for $27-$35/hour plus full bennes.
"Right-sizing for dummies." Hilarious! TTAC would be worth reading if it only had such illustrations. The GEN pool sounds like the UAW folks who continued getting paid for a year or two when GM's OKC assembly plant closed. They'd show up to just read the paper, watch TV or such. Or they could put in some time helping non-profit organizations. One of my wife's distant cousins got credit for part-time janitorial work for his church as his alternative work. Not a golden parachute, but a pretty soft landing for a working stiff. I suppose such deals are getting scarcer even in Detroit.
After the inevitable chapter 11 filing and/or mergers, some scribe needs to delve into the press' enabling of union contract provisions that slowly strangled the 'American' auto biz. For years, any hard details were conspicuously absent from reporting on business pages (especially if there were UAW plants in town). Of course, given that most so-called 'news' papers are themselves getting hammered by the information revolution, I guess they sympathize with their union 'brothers'. To me and most of my professional friends, we don't buy either product and just don't care.