An unspecified number of Ford contract workers were notified by their agencies late Friday that “their assignment at Ford has ended,” Ford spokesman Ian Thibodeau has confirmed to the Detroit Free Press. The cuts are effective immediately, though Thibodeau did not say which departments were affected or exactly how many Ford contract employees were affected by the decision.
“This adjustment is part of our continued effort to refine the work we need to do and the people required to do it,” Thibodeau said. “We will continue to adjust our resources as we align with the priorities in the plan outlined by CEO Jim Farley. We’ll inform our employees directly of any measures in the future, though there is nothing to share at this time.”
There are a number of Ford contract workers operating in areas of the company including information technology, purchasing, and engineering product development. Though they’re technically employed by an outside agency, these contract employees often work for a number of years on product launches.
However, there are few guarantees for contract workers. When an assignment ends, as is the case here, those employees’ pay ends immediately, and they’re rarely given any sort of health care or severance pay.
On the bright side, Ford also told its U.S.-based salaried employees that no additional job cuts would occur in 2020. Enough employees took advantage of the automaker’s Voluntary Incentive Program that this was possible, though Thibodeau stopped short of saying if more cuts might take place in early 2021.
“We’re in a multi-year process of making Ford more fit and effective around the world,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford president, Americas & International Markets Group. “We have reprioritized certain products and services and are adjusting our staffing to better align with our new work statement.”