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HarleyEarl

Ford Motor Company

15 posts in this topic

HarleyEarl    1

Rouge: Ford cars or no spot in the lot

The truck factory, which hosts tours, is the automaker's only plant to set rule for workers.

Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

Is it fair for the Dearborn Truck factory to ban vehicles from its parking lot that are not manufactured by Ford or one of its subsidiaries?

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DEARBORN -- Plant manager Rob Webber delivered a blunt message to workers at Ford Motor Co.'s Dearborn Truck factory this week: If you work at Ford, you better drive a Ford. Otherwise, park across the street and walk.

The new policy at Dearborn Truck, the modern centerpiece of the famed Rouge industrial complex and the site of popular factory tours, comes as Ford officials have been exhorting workers to rally behind the automaker's massive turnaround effort.

Losing money and sales in North America, Ford on Monday announced plans to close as many as 14 plants and cut up to 30,000 blue-collar workers.

"It was something this plant manager took upon himself. It's not a companywide policy," said Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari, adding that Ford supported the decision, which was made in consultation with local union leaders.

Beginning next Wednesday, only vehicles manufactured by Ford or one of its subsidiaries can be parked on the plant site. Employees in non-Ford vehicles can still park in the employee lot across Miller Road and walk to the factory, Gattari said.

'Everybody's in this together'

Jerry Sullivan, president of United Auto Workers Local 600, which represents some 2,600 workers at the plant, said both the union and the company wanted to get people's attention.

"Everybody's in this together. (We need) to buy the products we make and support the company," Sullivan said. "This is a good place to start."

The UAW has a history of banning vehicles manufactured by Asian and European automakers from union hall parking lots -- particularly during recessionary periods.

But Harley Shaiken, a labor expert at the University of California-Berkeley, said this is the first time he has ever heard of either the union or an auto company moving to ban all competing products.

"When imports were banned, the notion was that you were supporting other autoworkers around the country," he said. "These are very troubled times. Autoworkers in general, and at Ford in particular, want to protect their own jobs."

Shaiken said he would not be surprised to see similar actions taken at other Big Three plants. General Motors Corp.'s Warren Technical Center has separate lots for non-GM vehicles.

Non-Ford cars defaced

In recent years, the UAW has put handbills on non-Ford vehicles -- and even on some vehicles made by Ford's Volvo, Land Rover and Jaguar units -- that were parked at the company's world headquarters in Dearborn.

Land Rover, Volvo and other foreign vehicles also have been vandalized while parked at the automaker's Dearborn operations.

The new ban at Ford's Dearborn Truck plant applies to both salaried and hourly workers with permits to park on site. About 15 percent of the 2,800 employees who work at Dearborn Truck have such permits.

The decision to bar non-Ford products from the plant site was announced during a town hall meeting at the factory convened to discuss the automaker's latest restructuring plan. "The place erupted in applause," Gattari said.

Workers differ on ban

But not everyone was clapping.

"They can't tell you how to spend your money," said one veteran skilled tradesman who did not wish to be identified out of fear of retaliation. "It's still a free country."

He drives vehicles manufactured by DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group because he can get a better deal on them. "I gotta go where I can get the most bang for my buck," the worker said.

Now, he plans to borrow a Ford vehicle before the ban goes into effect.

Other workers said they see the logic behind the ban.

"You buy what you build," said Dearborn Truck worker Rufus McWilliams. "That only makes sense."

While Dearborn Truck is the only Ford facility to impose such a ban so far, workers at some other plants said they would welcome similar rules.

The Dearborn Truck plant opened in 2004 as Ford was celebrating its 100-year anniversary. It was build as part of a $2 billion renovation of the Rouge facility and is considered a model of manufacturing efficiency, flexibility and environmentally friendly technology.

About 150,000 people a year visit the factory on tours operated by The Henry Ford museum.

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Flybrian    0

You have to look at it in this sense: when workers see their jobs at stake, actions like these are inevitable. I'm sure we would see similar circumstances, say, at a Japanese Toyota plant under similar circumstances.

Seeing as this is not a company-wide policy, I think we should all consider the feelings of the plant's employees before jumping the gun and declaring them ignorant for devising rules at their own place of work.

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Variance    0
DEARBORN -- Plant manager Rob Webber delivered a blunt message to workers at Ford Motor Co.'s Dearborn Truck factory this week: If you work at Ford, you better drive a Ford. Otherwise, park across the street and walk.

The new policy at Dearborn Truck, the modern centerpiece of the famed Rouge industrial complex and the site of popular factory tours, comes as Ford officials have been exhorting workers to rally behind the automaker's massive turnaround effort.

Well, it's not like they're firing non-Ford driving Dearborn workers but I think a Ford plant manager has larger problems to worry about than what his employees drive.

"It was something this plant manager took upon himself. It's not a companywide policy," said Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari...

Nor should such a triviality be.

Jerry Sullivan, president of United Auto Workers Local 600, which represents some 2,600 workers at the plant, said both the union and the company wanted to get people's attention.

But is it positive attention, Mr. Sullivan?

In recent years, the UAW has put handbills on non-Ford vehicles -- and even on some vehicles made by Ford's Volvo, Land Rover and Jaguar units -- that were parked at the company's world headquarters in Dearborn.

:blink:

Land Rover, Volvo and other foreign vehicles also have been vandalized while parked at the automaker's Dearborn operations.

That's crossing the line. Tell them where to park, fine, but I draw the line at damaging someone else's property.

The decision to bar non-Ford products from the plant site was announced during a town hall meeting at the factory convened to discuss the automaker's latest restructuring plan. "The place erupted in applause," Gattari said.

Well, I wouldn't expect it to be roaring with boos and hisses.

But not everyone was clapping.

"They can't tell you how to spend your money," said one veteran skilled tradesman who did not wish to be identified out of fear of retaliation. "It's still a free country."

He drives vehicles manufactured by DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group because he can get a better deal on them. "I gotta go where I can get the most bang for my buck," the worker said.

I understand this man's sentiment. Even though you're working for a company, if they don't produce something that satisfies you, you're not obliged to buy from them.

Other workers said they see the logic behind the ban.

"You buy what you build," said Dearborn Truck worker Rufus McWilliams. "That only makes sense."

Depends. I could work for Kia. Doesn't mean I'm going to buy one. I know there are better, more appealing cars out there.

I think Ford is going to have a few disgruntled workers on their hands.

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balthazar    2,014

I'd support it if I worked there. And if I didn't drive a Ford, I'd park across the street, walk and not waste my own or anyone else's time complaining about it.

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avant1963    38

When I used to drive past the Ford plant in Edision, NJ (no longer there - used to build Rangers but Ford closed that plant two years ago) I would intentionaly look to see if anyone was driving something other than a Ford and then laugh.

Nothing looks worse in front of your plant than a rival's vehicle. Forcing people to drive the cars maybe getting close to the line, but it's not like they are asking people to buy BMWs or MBs. Ford has a car for all pocketbooks and I don't think it would be too much to ask for employees of the company to purchase thier cars to help out.

The only thing I can see is if the employee is new and doesn't have a Ford to begin with - starting a new job and then asking someone to purchase a new car is over the line.

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jry    0

you taka-da paycheck, you driva-da car.

don't poo where you eat. this is war, folks. take the employee discount, as meager as it is, and drive one of the vehicles in the companys lineup.

like a guy working for best buy and getting his tv from circuit city.

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CARBIZ    1

We aren't talking about a pair of Nikes! If you are serious about where you work (as opposed to just biding time until something better comes along, which is the kind of attitude you get from employees at places like Wal-Mart, your local convenience store, etc.) it only makes sense that you support the place where you work.

When you work at the Big Three, there are no minimum wage jobs. Everyone makes way above the industrial average and you can move up if you are smart and a hard worker, so there is no reason to not be committed to your employer.

It is not unreasonable to make it more attractive for your employees to buy what they build. Preferred parking is one of those perks. Lots of companies have "employee of the month" parking right beside the building as an incentive to strive harder. I don't see how this is any different.

Kudos to Ford.

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Satty    338

Just because you work at a particilar automaker doesn't mean you are a fan of them. I would buy a rusted out Pinto, a Maverick, an Edsel, a 1980 Fiesta, and a Tempo. Then I would drive one to work every day of the week and park them next to the road where all could see them.

Also, vandalising vehicles is childish. It's garbage like that that earns the UAW such a poor reputation.

:withstupid:

A job is something you have to have to afford the basics in life, shelter, food, etc. A car is something you need to have to get to work unless you live somewhere with safe, reliable public transportation. The car you drive does not effect your job performance in a factory.

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Flybrian    0

The car you drive does not effect your job performance in a factory.

Unless its a Tempo, Citation, or Tercel...'cause then you probably wouldn't get to work.

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Satty    338

Unless its a Tempo, Citation, or Tercel...'cause then you probably wouldn't get to work.

Or a Ford SUV, which will have set your garage on fire.

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That rule is stupid. What if you recently bought a car, then got hired from Ford. You're not going to go out and buy a new car just because you work at Ford.(well, some people would but not most people)

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balthazar    2,014

You don't have to, you only have to park across the street. Buying a Ford does not change your values nor alter your job performance, it only gets you a closer parking spot in this case. BFD.

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Croc    268

All they are saying is that if you don't have a Ford product you have to park it across the street in the other lot. I don't see the big deal about that to be completely honest. I'll bet many workers already parked at that lot, which sounds like they are just reclassifying the overflow lot. Much ado over nothing.

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