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Economy and Business


UAW and Ford reach a deal to stave off hundreds of layoffs at Avon Lake
Nearly 200 people still will be getting pink slips while plant is retooled
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
The UAW's Jerome Williams was among those celebrating the relatively good news at Ford's Avon Lake assembly plant today.
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Ford is agreeing to keep most of its Avon Lake assembly plant workers on the payroll as its retools the plant. But a UAW deal that includes rotating weeks off is a key part of that agreement. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on a settlement announced today that steers off hundreds of layoffs.

LISTEN: Ford compromise saved hundreds of jobs

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The Ford assembly plant is shifting from making vans to making mid-size pickups. And just a few weeks ago, it looked like that would mean indefinite layoffs for as many as 900 people.

But under the compromise, most of the plants 1,600 production workers will rotate time off every two weeks beginning in August and continuing until the new product launch sometime next year.

The workers will get a large share of their pay during the shifts they will not be working, and will retain seniority and other benefits.

Sheffield Mayor John Hunter says Ford is meeting terms it agreed to three years ago.

“When the commitment was made when they went through negotiations for the tax incentives with the state, they said this plant was going to be protected for the next 15 to 20 years. And that coming true. Ford Motor Company hasn’t walked away from that. And the union is holding their feet to the fire, along with our state legislators and our international union to see that that is fulfilled.”

Still, nearly 200 people likely will be laid off. But Hunter says the new product line may mean some of those workers will be recalled; others will be assigned to other Ford facilities. And Ford has committed to employing at least 1,400 people at Avon Lake by 2016. 

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