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2000 Restructuring of the Automotive Operations:

 

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Ford of Europe: 2000 Restructuring

Ford draws up Employee Support Programme

COLOGNE, Germany, May 12, 2000 - Ford has drawn up a comprehensive and wide-ranging $12 million Employee Support Programme to provide help and guidance for employees at Dagenham, and the surrounding community, affected by its new European business review strategy, announced today.

 

 

The company will additionally form a Joint Advisory Board, including trade union, government and local development agency representatives, to oversee the development and implementation of the Employee Support programme.

Voluntary redundancy programme for around 1,900 employees at Dagenham

A voluntary redundancy programme for around 1,900 employees at Dagenham Body and Assembly, will be partially offset by about 500 incremental jobs associated with the expansion of diesel engine production and engineering elsewhere within the Dagenham Estate. Net job losses on the Dagenham Estate will therefore be around 1,400.

The new Employee Support Programme will offer assistance in a number of ways, including retraining, priority re-hiring, self-employment start-ups, independent financial advice, outplacement support and educational assistance.

Ford of Europe Chairman Nick Scheele said: "It is with great regret that we have to present a plan to discontinue vehicle assembly at Dagenham and an absolute priority as we move forward will be how we can work to minimise total job losses through redeployment to other Ford facilities in Britain, where job opportunities may be available. We will do everything possible to achieve this restructuring on a voluntary basis and to support all those employees affected as much as we can."

The enhanced redundancy package is a key element of the Employee Support Programme and, with terms extended from the existing separation programme announced for Dagenham Body and Assembly Plant's move to single-shift working, employees will be offered, for the first time, the option to take Special Early Retirement from 45, with an unreduced pension from the age of 50 and additionally 39 weeks base pay for Hourly employees and nine months pay for Salaried employees.

The actual terms being offered will vary according to individual circumstances. However, as an example, an hourly employee aged 55 with 30 years service, taking special early retirement, would receive approximately 37,500 on retirement and an annual pension of about 10,300. A 41-year-old hourly employee with 15 years service would receive around 30,000 on taking voluntary redundancy. A salaried employee, aged 52, with 27 years service, could expect to receive around 50,700 on taking special early retirement, with an annual pension of about 14,800.

Relocation support will be provided for those employees wishing to seek redeployment within other Ford facilities in Britain and there will be additional support in terms of re-training grants and priority consideration for rehiring later. The company will also replace agency personnel with Ford employees where skills match and offer some employees the possibility of an extended 'career break' opportunity.

Employees leaving the company will be offered advice on becoming self-employed or starting up their own businesses. The company will also provide a range of outplacement services through a dedicated Dagenham-based Employment Centre to help employees come to terms with redundancy and prepare for their job search. It will offer practical assistance to help those employees identify their skills and competences and preferred career options and will act as a job centre for both internal and external vacancies.

Independent financial advice is another element of the programme, which also covers education grants and the provision of information on job opportunities elsewhere, including with Ford dealers and suppliers.

The Employee Support Programme will also underline Ford's continuing commitment to the community, allowing for the introduction of community service programmes, Dagenham Estate site clear-up employment and the continuance of Ford's apprentice training programme.

 


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