By on April 7, 2008
ranger.jpgFord's plan to lower its labor costs is a two-stage process. First, buy-out highly-paid union workers. Second, replace them with lower-paid workers. If Ford's experience at their Ranger plant in St. Paul (MN) is anything to go by, the Blue Oval Boyz are failing at the first hurdle. The Star Tribune reports that 236 out of 240 workers have refused buy-out packages worth $50k to $140k. Seems those who've wanted to leave, have. "Only four to six workers applied for the buyout out of about 240 eligible production workers, said Roger Terveen, president of United Auto Workers Local 879. There are only 980 workers left in the plant, after buyouts in 2006 and the shutdown of the night shift." The paper hints that resurgent Ranger sales have emboldened the "survivors." "March Ranger sales rose 7.9 percent from a year ago to 8,620 units. Sales of the light truck rose 24 percent in February. Sales have picked up steam thanks to the falling U.S. dollar, rising demand in Canada and high fuel costs." Or maybe they're waiting for a better offer. 
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12 Comments on “236 out of 240 Ford Workers Snub Buyout Package...”


  • avatar
    GS650G

    Go ahead Ford, fire me. Just try. I’m holding out for a real deal that includes lifetime medical and several years pay for doing nothing.

  • avatar
    mikey

    There is a few factors that come into play here.
    The buyout is icing on the cake for the guy thats ready to retire.The fence sitters need a little push and the buyout is just the ticket.
    The buyouts have been around for a while now and folks are thinking,I’ll grab the next one.Maybe its going to be bigger?
    Money is a big big issue. Here in Canada I take a 47% cut in my income if I retire.A 54 year old guy with limited education doesn’t have a lot of job prospects.
    I understand the survivor mentality that RF mentions.Hey I want to see the first production Camaro come down the line.The good/prefered jobs are vanishing fast.Lucky me I still got one, but for how long?When my job gets axed I will take a long hard look at going.
    Its funny to talk to a few of the guys that have been out for a while.First thing they say”Its great!Grab it Mikey while you can.After a couple of beers you start hearing the down side”well ya got’a lot of time and not a lot of money,Uh huh .Then you hear”I’m looking for part time work”Oh!Then that gets me thinking,do I really want this?I’m obviously not alone in my thinking.
    Most of the high senority guys have had income security since we were 18 years old.I think I speak for most of us at the big 3 when I say we are reluctant/scared to change the status quo.

  • avatar
    Orian

    They won’t offer lifetime medical coverage, and if they did, would you really believe it with the financial condition they are in?

  • avatar
    menno

    Well, Mikey, at least you have what passes for lifetime medical care. Although if it is poor as the British medical system was when I lived there, that’s unfortunately not saying much…

    As for the USA, I read the other day that the Medicare (elderly medical care program) is going to be broke by the year 2020, unless the powers-that-be “do something about it”, (like that’s going to happen). That’s three years before I get to retire, at age 66. Assuming I can retire, that is. I also read that by the time I am age 72, our Social (in)Security will be broke. Once again, unless the powers-that-be “do something about it”.

  • avatar
    umterp85

    I think the recession has a little something to do with it as well. Economic uncertainty has to be a major reason why almost all are holding on. A lump sum payment is great but the inability to be able to find work once they leave Ford (due to lack of new jobs) has to be a factor.

  • avatar
    hltguy

    I have long wondered how many UAW members have taken the time over the years to retrain themseleves to prepare for the bad times, or gone to school at night or day (if they work nights), at least part time to get educated in a different field? Even in this economy there are lots of jobs to be had, every newspaper in north America has many job openings, as well as job listing sites. But the better paying ones need certain training and/or education. If one sits around after work and drinks beer and complains about the state of things, then they will be dinosaurs. A person may have to relocate, but a hefty buy out from their employer can help them to do that. There are ways, people just have to work at it and find the path.

  • avatar
    kjc117

    Retrained or re educated will not get them the same pay/benefits per hour they are receiving now.

    Despite what the politicians say, for most part there are limited job opportunities with same pay and benefits outside of Ford.

    It is such a personal decision depending on their family, age, and finances.

  • avatar
    50merc

    menno, the outlook for Medicare and Social Security is even worse than you heard. “Going broke” refers to exhaustion of the so-called trust funds. There’s no cash in those trust funds, just promises by the government to take money from one pocket to put it in another pocket, so the crucial date is when payroll taxes and Medicare premiums aren’t enough to cover benefits. From the 2008 Trustees report:

    “…the difference between outgo and dedicated payroll tax and premium income will grow rapidly in the 2010-30 period as the baby-boom generation reaches retirement age. Beyond 2030, the difference continues to increase nearly as rapidly due primarily to health care costs that grow faster than GDP. … When the statutory SMI general fund revenue requirements are added in, the projected combined Social Security and Medicare deficits and statutory general fund revenues in 2082 equal 9.3 percent of GDP, indicating the magnitude of the potential effect on the Federal budget if general revenues were used to ensure payment of all scheduled program benefits. A similar burden today would require more than 80 percent of all Federal income tax revenues, which amounted to 11.2 percent of GDP in 2007. … the projected growth in Social Security and Medicare costs would require that the total Federal revenue share of GDP increase to wholly unprecedented levels.”

    We can only take comfort in the fact that the U.S. outlook is still better than Europe’s.

  • avatar
    hltguy

    kjc117: Though the days of the big wage and benefits through UAW are coming to an end, those who plan correctly can still make a good living. I never understood people who have the ability to to do so do not take the time to retrain and further educate themselves, particularly when the country is full of community and state colleges. Those who sit around and bemoan the fact their job is going away and the good old days are gone are going to be floundering. The ride has been good for many for many years, but one has to change with the times. There are still plenty of opportunities in this country, however it is correct the politicians are bound and determined to piss it away through higher taxes, horrible trade deals, overspending and just being stupid.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Ford should think LONG AND HARD about closing this plant. The Ranger makes the GOBS of money (along with the Crown Vic, Grand Marquis, and Town Car). It would only be another bonehead move by Ford if they close this plant.

    All they need to do is throw a small, powerful diesel into the Ranger and sales WILL be through the roof. It would be able to tow 5K pounds and get somewhere in the range of 25-35MPG.

  • avatar
    50merc

    P71_CrownVic, I’m with you. It’s hard to understand why Ford has so neglected the Ranger. Perhaps they figure a more appealing Ranger would just cannibalize sales of F-150’s, their main moneymaker.

    I also suspect that Ford has secretly decided that eventually a Ranger-size truck will be sourced from Mexico or China.

  • avatar

    Henry Ford knew something that seems lost on today’s management there; you get good workers by paying them more when they work hard.
    Ford management should concentrate on creating the cars that people want to buy, now and in the future; not union bashing.

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