Union: Layoffs, shutdown hit Louisville Ford truck plant

ByUSA Today

LOUISVILLE -- A union official says Ford's truck plant in Louisville will shut down for the month of July instead of its traditional two-week hiatus during the summer.

UAW Local 862 Vice President Todd Dunn says temporary employee layoffs are scheduled to begin this month on the body and paint lines at the plant and could roll into August. He said the whole plant will be shut in July.

Ford spokeswoman Angie Kozleski confirmed that rotating, week-long layoffs are scheduled to begin this month. She declined to comment on plans for the plant beyond May.

Dunn says about 3,400 union members work on the body, paint and final trim lines.

While on furlough, UAW workers typically receive about 90% of their pay.

The Louisville truck plant makes the F-150 Super Duty trucks. In April, Ford said it sold 21% fewer F-Series Super Duty trucks. In April 2007, the automaker sold 55,692 F-Series trucks, but only 44,813 in the period this year.

Overall, Ford truck sales dropped 19% last month. At the same time, sales of the small Ford Focus nearly doubled from April 2007, rising 88% to 23,850.

Ford and the state of Kentucky reached a deal last fall to invest $200 million at the Kentucky Truck Plant, to upgrade the line to a flexible setup allowing different vehicles to be made at the same time. The agreement will give the automaker $60 million in tax savings over the next decade.

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