Almost 1,700 Skilled Ford Workers Take Buyouts to Retire image

Ford Motor announced that about 1,700 in the U.S. have accepted the offers for early retirement and will leave the company by June 1st.

In the fall of 2011 Ford offered the buyouts to all 41,000 factory workers to cut its skilled trades and production workforces. The company offered skilled trades workers like electricians and plumbers $100,000 to retire and production workers were offered $50,000. From those who accepted the offers 920 are skilled-trades workers and the rest are production employees.

Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans said that buyouts will allow laid-off workers in certain areas to return to work and that the company will hire some replacement workers but at lower wages. New factory hires will be paid around $16 an hour, a little more than half the wage of a longtime union worker, taking into consideration that a skilled tradesman makes above $30 an hour.

“It was strictly voluntary and we didn’t have a targeted number that we expected to or needed to take it,” she said.

By the end of this year Ford plans to hire 5,500 workers to help satisfy growing U.S. sales, 1,200 jobs being added at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, and the Chicago Assembly Plant for an additional shift at each facility, 1,800 jobs at its Louisville Assembly Plant to create a second shift and 1,300 jobs for a third shift in the second half of 2012.