The following statement was made Monday by United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger and Vice President Gerald Bantom, who directs the UAW National Ford Department, in response to Ford Motor Co.’s restructuring plan:
“The restructuring plan announced this morning by Ford is extremely disappointing and devastating news for the many thousands of hardworking men and women who have devoted their working lives to Ford. The impacted hourly and salaried workers find themselves facing uncertain futures because of senior management’s failure to halt Ford’s sliding market share.
“The announcement has further left a cloud hanging over the entire work force because of pending future announcements of additional facilities to be closed at some point in the future. Unfortunately, analyst and media speculation during the last month has made these events even more wrenching for Ford workers, their families and communities.
“The announced plant closings and future announcements are the subject of ongoing discussions with Ford. Certainly, today’s announcement will only make the 2007 negotiations all the more difficult and all the more important.
“Like the 2002 plan, Ford’s new ‘Way Forward’ is based on cutting jobs and closing facilities to ‘align’ Ford’s production capacity with shrinking demand for Ford’s vehicles. Then, as now, the focus should instead be on striving to gain market share in this competitive market by offering consumers innovative and appealing products.
“The UAW-represented workers affected by today’s action are covered by the job security program and all other provisions and protections of the UAW-Ford National Agreement. Our union will rigorously enforce those programs.”