Ford Offers $140K Buyout To ACH Workers

Ford’s Monroe, Mich.-based Automatic Components Holdings plant offers workers $140,000 if they leave the automaker to take jobs with the new owner of the business.

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Friday it is offering some workers at a Monroe-based operation that makes vehicle driveshafts $140,000 if they leave the automaker to take jobs with the new owner of the business.

The offers could be seen at other Automotive Components Holdings LLC plants that Ford hopes to sell.

''It is an approach that could be considered at other plants, assuming ratification of a competitive bargaining agreement between the UAW and the buyer, and the successful completion of the sale,'' ACH spokeswoman Della DiPietro said.

The Monroe operation is part of ACH, which Ford created in 2005 to manage 17 plants that Ford reacquired from a struggling Visteon Corp. as part of a bailout agreement for the supplier. Ford spun off Visteon in 2000.

Last month, Dearborn-based Ford announced that officials had signed a deal to sell the driveshaft business to Pottstown, Pa.-based Neapco LLC, which is affiliated with the China-based Wanxiang Group.

Neapco plans to open a plant in Wayne County's Van Buren Township, where about 300 employees of the driveshaft unit will be offered jobs. DiPietro said about 700 Monroe employees represented by the United Auto Workers union are eligible for the $140,000 offer, and they have until next week to make up their minds.

If they take the offer, DiPietro said, the workers will get the payment over a two-year period. They also would take a new job with Neapco under a labor agreement between the UAW and Neapco.

The 700 Monroe workers also may chose among a variety of offers for buyouts or to flow back to Ford, DiPietro said.

Also Friday, a UAW local representing workers at an ACH facility in Saline said in an e-mail update to members that a similar $140,000 offer was possible if a deal is reached with auto parts maker Johnson Controls Inc.

''We are progressing but at a slow pace,'' the e-mail from UAW Local 892 said.

Messages seeking comment were left Friday with the UAW local and a spokeswoman for Johnson Controls.

In November, Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls said it had reached a nonbinding agreement with Ford to buy the interiors factory that employs about 1,350 workers in Saline, about 40 miles west of Detroit.

At the time, Johnson Controls said the deal was contingent on negotiating a competitive labor agreement with the UAW, as well as resolution of other issues to make the plant more competitive.
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