DETROIT (CP) - Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) announced sharp cuts in its North American production Friday that will force partial plant shutdowns in the United States and Canada in the fourth quarter, resulting in 350 layoffs in Windsor, Ont., alone.
The move comes amid reports that Ford will cut 6,000 more salaried positions in North America, just a few months after the troubled automaker announced a major streamlining at its U.S. and Canadian plants.
The new plan will result in temporary halts in production at assembly plants in St. Thomas, Ont.; Chicago; Wixom, Mich.; Louisville, Ky.; Wayne, Mich.; St. Paul, Minn.; Kansas City, Mo.; Norfolk, Va.; and Dearborn, Mich.; Ford said.
At the Windsor engine plant, Ford will move from a three-shift operating pattern to two shifts, said Ford Canada spokesman John Arnone.
“There will be an impact to approximately 300 workers - they will be laid off in October as a result of this action.” And at the Essex engine plant, also in Windsor, he added, “approximately 50 employees will be impacted.”
The layoff impact at the St. Thomas plant is still to be determined.
This latest loss of manufacturing jobs comes on the heels of Dalton McGuinty being named “Personality of the Year” by a five-year-old semi-monthly periodical entitled Foreign Direct Investment. The reason they picked Dalton? According to the Toronto Star’s story: “for making Ontario a more business-friendly jurisdiction by promoting research and innovation.” And just how did he make Ontario more business-friendly? By naming himself Minister of Research and Innovation. Yep, nothing attracts investment like another line on the Premier's business card.
The Star story quotes the editor of the magazine:
“This is not a scientific process where we do some kind of ranking or use an exact (measurement). We’re travelling around all the time and what we’re covering is foreign direct investment so we’re looking at markets all around the world and their suitability for investment and ... what kind of face they’re showing to foreign investors,” she said.
Given the 80,000 manufacturing jobs lost on his watch, it’s lucky for McGuinty that the award is not based on any objective criteria – nor any criteria at all, apparently. The Star story cites the provincial government’s support for the MaRS discovery district in Toronto and McGuinty’s travels on trade missions – all stuff that Mike Harris did.
But, to give McGuinty his due, Mike Harris didn’t implement the biggest personal income tax increase in Ontario’s history, merely the biggest personal income tax cut. Perhaps the handful of CEOs who subscribe to Foreign Direct Investment don’t concern themselves with the take home pay of their local workers. No wonder they found McGuinty so simpatico.