June 30, 2016

Mostly clear

Pact reached to keep jobs at Ford plant

SHEFFIELD — Approximately 900 workers at the Ohio Assembly Plant who were scheduled to be laid off in August will retain their jobs under a new agreement with United Auto Workers Local 2000 and Ford Motor Co.

The union held a press conference Monday to announce a compromise made with Ford to maintain 1,408 of its 1,605 employees at the plant.

Under the new agreement, the Ohio Assembly Plant will provide rotating shift opportunities for approximately 1,000 production employees. The rotation would be in two-week cycles – with half the plant crews working for two weeks and then being temporarily laid off for two weeks while the other half works.

The rotation would begin during retooling of the plant for a new product line – the production of F-650 and F-750 medium-sized trucks — beginning Aug. 4 and continuing until the product launch in the second quarter of 2015.

A Ford spokeswoman said rotating shifts would ensure that the majority of Ohio Assembly Plant workers will continue to receive 74 to 100 percent of their pay during the transitional period.

UAW Chairman Tim Rowe said the 197 “surplus employees” who will be affected by the layoffs would be protected by buy-out packages, temporary layoffs offered by inverse seniority and the opportunity to transfer to the Brook Park Ford plant by seniority.

A total of 1,886 people are employed at the Ohio Assembly Plant, but management was not factored into the layoffs. Skilled trade workers and the launch team for the new product line are part of the 1,408 employees who are protected due to existing work, training, retooling and launch-related activities, Rowe said.

Rowe said retirement packages also will be offered to those employees who are eligible, and employees at the Ohio Assembly Plant and Walton Stamping Plant, scheduled to close this year, were given the option to transfer to the Brook Park Ford plant.

Contact reporter Chelsea Miller at (440) 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.