White Collar, Pink Slip: There's Pain Coming to Ford's Workforce

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
white collar pink slip theres pain coming to fords workforce

Streamlining rarely comes without a reduction in personnel, and it appears Ford’s $11 billion restructuring plan will indeed bring about a loss of employees in North America. While the automaker previously hinted at steep job losses in its troubled European operation, a recent report shows employees need to be worried on several continents.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford’s plan will leave many unemployed white-collar, salaried workers in its wake.

Some 85,000 of Ford’s 201,000 worldwide employees reside in the United States. The number of salaried employees totalls 70,000 on a global scale.

At this point, the automaker doesn’t know exactly how many positions stand to be cut, though salaried workers were told Thursday of the basics of the streamlining plan. The ultimate goal is for Ford to become a leaner, less top-heavy operation, with cuts not targeted at any one specific area.

“We need to dig into the process deeper before we know the absolutes,” said Mark Truby, Ford’s vice president of global communications at Ford, in an interview with the Free Press. “What we’ve kicked off is a redesign of our global salaried workforce — in North America, Europe, Asia, South America. … ”

Kiersten Robinson, Ford’s group vice president and chief human resources officer, reiterated the objective of CEO Jim Hackett’s plan.

“You’ve heard (CEO) Jim Hackett talk about fitness and how we need to be more responsive, innovative, agile. Given that, it’s really important when you consider how we modernize the workforce, skills and capabilities we need,” she said. “Yesterday we shared with our global employees that we’re in the early stages of reorganizing the salaried workforce. This is designed to help us become more fit as a business.”

Ford’s near-term product plans are well known at this point, and it doesn’t look like any hourly workers need to be concerned in the United States. Bloomberg reports that Morgan Stanley estimates the cuts to number around 20,000.

Pushing salaried employees out the door could prove a boon to the company’s stock, which has all the lift of a brick tossed off the roof of the Glass House. Product and visionary tech announcements haven’t done the trick. Meanwhile, a number of factors have all put downward pressure on the automaker’s finances and, correspondingly, its stock.

Investors and analysts all want to see a share value course change, which is what Hackett’s streamlining plan hopes to accomplish. Otherwise, former CEO Mark Fields’ tenure serves as a lesson. After coming under fire recently for failing to turn around the company’s plunging stock price, Hackett told an interviewer that everything that could be done to right the financial ship is being done.

“We are not in a crisis,” Hackett said last month. “The company’s in great shape.”

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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  • BklynPete BklynPete on Oct 09, 2018

    Everyome criticizes Hackett and they're not wrong. But what about Billy Ford? The result of lucky sperm, he is dumb enough to keep hiring and trusting these geniuses?

    • Akear Akear on Oct 09, 2018

      I am tired of looking at Bill Ford's deer in the headlights lights expressions.

  • Akear Akear on Oct 09, 2018

    When Hackett announced the cancellation of all Ford's passenger cars the company stock went below 10.usd. Now after announcing future job cuts Ford stock has gone under 9.usd for the first time in six years. Hackett has become similar to a millionaire ball player hitting only .220. How much longer can Ford suffer through these diminished returns. Hackett had brought Ford to an historic low in just over 15 months. Not even Roger Smith could make that claim.

  • Kwik_Shift Manuals are great theft deterrents though. 😉Sad when they're disappearing from many makes.
  • Arthur Dailey Confession here. 2 of the previous generation Rogues in our family over the past 5 years. Saw some cost cutting between the 1st and the 2nd one. On the 'new' one there are no cubbies on the back of the front seats, the ignition is not lit, and there is a marked difference in the front seats. The first Rogue has the most comfortable seats I have experienced since the heyday of the PLCs. Despite sciatica could drive that Rogue for hours with no issues. The seats on the 2nd Rogue create discomfort after 30 minutes. And everyone in the family has noticed this.The first Rogue drove seamlessly. Quiet and comfortable on the highway. On both we have averaged just over 29 mpg. The 2nd Rogue needs to be warmed up and driven slowly if left out overnight in minus 30 (f) or -0 (c) weather, otherwise the engine just revs and the speed does not seem to increase. The dealer has been asked to look at this multiple times but each time they claim that there is no issue. It also has the worst Bluetooth interface I have experienced. Otherwise, based on size, cost, the Rogues were chosen over Toyota/Honda. Both were/are leased so not concerned about long term values/reliability. And the 'new' Rogue came standard with heated seats and blind spot warning, which the Toyota/Honda did not without going up a couple of packages.However we should have bought out the first Rogue when the lease ended. During the height of the pandemic, it could have easily been flipped for close to double the buyout cost.
  • AKHusky L2 charger at home. My wife’s workplace has a couple of chargers and she is able to use one about half the time. Our town also has a number of free chargers and I use those occasionally if I’m going to be parked in that vicinity for at least an hour anyway.
  • Jkross22 That's a great looking shifter. Reminds me of the old school late 70s BMW manual - BTW TTAC, that would be a cool article to run - Best looking shifters in the last 30 years. My vote:Audi gated shifter from the R8. Should've offered that on every RS model and let people special order.
  • Ajla Maybe they should not have released several special edition Broncos when they couldn't even get regular trim orders out within a year?I'm not sure who is in charge of Ford's production but they deserve to be very fired.