DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. plans involuntary layoffs of salaried employees by August as part of a restructuring in the face of slumping sales and record-high gasoline prices, a spokeswoman said yesterday.
Marcey Evans said the company had not yet determined how many white-collar jobs would be cut. But she said that unlike previous rounds of layoffs in recent years, employees would not be offered voluntary buyout packages with financial or early-retirement incentives. Evans said the company wanted the cuts completed by Aug. 1, which is not enough time to roll out voluntary offers and wait for employees to accept them.
The Detroit News reported yesterday that some employees were told that Ford planned to cut its salaried workforce 10 percent to 12 percent, or more than 2,000 people. But Evans said Ford had not yet decided how many would be cut.
Ford announced last Thursday that it was cutting North American production for the rest of this year and no longer expected to return to profitability by 2009 because of the rapidly deteriorating U.S. market. The company said it would release more details about its cost-cutting in July.
In a memo to employees last Thursday, Ford president and chief executive officer Alan Mulally said the company would need to cut salaried jobs. Mulally said employees would be notified once the company had determined the extent of the cuts.
"We want to do what is right for the future of our business and also respect the fact that these actions will personally affect our team and their families," Mulally said in the memo.
Ford had 23,700 salaried workers at the end of 2007. The automaker has cut the number of full-time salaried workers in North America by 10,800 since the end of 2005, mostly through attrition, early-retirement offers, and voluntary buyouts. In 2007, the company had so many people accepting offers that it was rescinding the offers from workers in some departments.