Mon, 04 Dec 2023

Union: Ford to cut some 3,200 European jobs

Robert Besser
27 Jan 2023, 19:26 GMT+10

FRANKFURT, Germany: Germany's IG Metall union has said that Ford plans to cut up to 3,200 jobs across Europe and move some product development work to the US.

The union also said that if the reductions move forward, it will organize industrial action that would disrupt the carmaker's European operations.

The US carmaker is under pressure to reduce expenses, due to rising costs for electric vehicle battery materials and predicted recessions in US and European economies.

IG Metall said that Ford aims to cut some 2,500 jobs in product development and 700 in administrative positions, with most layoffs planned for Germany.

Workers at its Cologne site, which has some 14,000 staff, including 3,800 at a development centre in the Merkenich area, were informed of the company's plans during work council meetings held this week.

Ford's spokesperson in Germany declined to comment, while its spokesperson at its Michigan headquarters said that discussions with the German works councils were continuing and that the company needs to be "more competitive" as it switches production to EVs.

In 2022, Ford announced a $2 billion investment to expand production at its Cologne plant to manufacture a mass market all-electric EV model.

As part of its major EV push in Europe, the carmaker, which employs some 45,000 people on the continent, is planning seven new electric models in the region, a battery assembly site in Germany and a nickel cell manufacturing joint venture in Turkey.

However, as the shift to EV production requires fewer labour hours to assemble cars, it warned in June of "significant" job cuts in the near term at its factories in Spain and Saarlouis, Germany.

"If negotiations between the works council and management in coming weeks do not ensure the future of workers, we will join the process," IG Metall said.

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