Ford Set to Trim 4000 Jobs
Ford Motor Co. took the first step in its next restructuring by confirming it plans to trim up to 4000 white-collar jobs in North America by the end of March.
Mark Fields, Ford president of the
The plan is expected to include the closure of assembly plants and the reduction of other operations. The plan was originally due in October but William Clay Ford Jr., Ford's chairman and chief executive officer, decided to defer implementation to give Fields and his chief deputy Anne Stevens a chance to review the plans and put their own stamp on it.
Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers, confirmed last week that the union has opened discussions with Ford about revisions to the healthcare benefits that are part of the UAW's contract with the automaker. Gettelfinger didn't offer any timetable for completing the healthcare agreement with Ford, but the union has already agreed to a package of concessions to General Motors that is expected to save that automaker as much as $3 billion. Ford's problems with healthcare costs are not as severe as GM's because the company has fewer retirees, but they are still substantial.
Ford Set to Trim 4000 Jobs (11/20/2005)
More job cuts presage new restructuring plan coming from Ford's front office.
GM Fights Bankruptcy Speculation
General Motors Corp. is under intense pressure to move ahead with its new restructuring plans as talk of bankruptcy and ruin continued to intensify throughout the financial community.
The struggling automaker also got a mixed message from the preliminary surveys of November sales by J,D. Power & Associates. Midway through the month, sales of large vehicles seemed to be recovering, but GM sales still have dropped 24 percent so far in November.
GM has staked $1 billion on the new versions of its full-size SUVs, so the report on large vehicles was interpreted as a positive development for GM, according the Power report.
Meanwhile, Richard Wagoner, GM's chairman and chief executive officer, moved to reassure employees with a message in which he said bankruptcy simply wasn't an option for the giant automaker.
"I'd like to just set the record straight here and now: there is absolutely no plan, strategy or intention for GM to file for bankruptcy," Wagoner said in a letter to employees, which a GM spokesman said was posted on an internal Web site.
Wagoner said GM has a clearly defined turnaround plan and "a robust balance sheet," with $19 billion in cash and $16 billion in assets in a trust fund for retiree healthcare.
GM Fights Bankruptcy Speculation (11/20/2005)
Company may announce new restructuring this week to counter Chapter 11 talk.
The United Auto Workers and the other unions representing workers at the bankrupt Delphi Corp. still hope to focus more attention on the excessive compensation promised to the company's top executives as information surfaces suggesting the company is in for a sweeping overhaul.
Reports circulated last week that buyers have begun to emerge for key
UAW president Ron Gettelfinger described
Unions Say Delphi's Miller Wrong (11/20/2005)
Chief hasn't fixed management problems - so why bargain, asks union?
Everywhere I go, people ask me about General Motors. Here are the questions and my answers.