Thursday, September 14, 2006
Inspiration: Ford to Offer Buyouts to US Employees
Image: We've all seen this one before
Yet another nail in the coffin of American manufacturing, Ford is offering buyouts and early retirement for 75,000 of its hourly workers. Michigan is one of those states that just makes me feel sad. Unemployment is high, and some towns have been virtually destroyed by the loss of manufacturing jobs due to outsourcing and slumping auto sales. Plus I think the three most famous people from Michigan are Eminem, Kid Rock, and Michael Moore, so the state has a public face of ugliness. I will spare you those pictures because I don't want to ugly up my blog. Pete Doherty [Edited to add: or Whitney Houston] is as far as I'm willing to go.
Though I think outsourcing is unfortunate and am generally against it, many of these workers probably do hate their jobs and would be happy to be 'bought out.' For the right price, I think most people wouldn't mind. My mom certainly wouldn't, and neither would I (the one thing we now have in common). Of course, I have no idea what a fair buyout price would be, but Ford seems to have some ideas. According to the article, "Under the buyout and early retirement plan, detailed in a UAW statement, workers can choose between eight packages that offer from $35,000 to $140,000 depending on their years of service, age and how close they are to retirement age." I wonder how many people actually qualify for the $140,000. Even the $35,000 would be like a year's salary. If the younger employees get $35,000 and they hate their job, they could take the year to look for a job they really like or go back to school or something. And the older employees getting the big payoff could just move to Miami like the Golden Girls - if the Golden Girls were burly factory men or Rosie the Riveter.