Sunday, January 22, 2006

Ford Vote

Ford is expected to announce that it will cut up to 25,000 jobs and shut down as many as ten plants in North America as part of a restructuring plan to keep it from facing the point of near-bankruptcy that GM has reached.

Naturally, Buzz Hargrove has to put in his two cents (and grossly overpriced, at that):

"Ford has asked me for an early morning meeting tomorrow, which indicates to me they wouldn't call us into a meeting unless they had some bad news for us," Hargrove told CTV Newsnet on Sunday.

Hargrove said he isn't worried about the Oakville, Ont., plant, which employs about 3,770 workers. There is a billion-dollar investment going on there, and Ford confirmed earlier this month that Oakville will assemble the new Ford Edge crossover vehicle.

However, the fate of the Essex plant in Windsor, Ont., and the assembly plant in St. Thomas, Ont., is less certain, he said.

There are 2,500 employees at the St. Thomas plant, which builds big rear-wheel-drive sedans. There are also two engine factories in Windsor. More than 2,000 people work at the Windsor engine plant that produces V-8s and V-10s, while 730 work at the Essex V-6 plant.

The cuts will be part of a five-year restructuring plan, suggest reports, that will see thousands of blue-collar workers, salaried workers and top-level executives get pink slips.

This could swing a lot of undecided votes in a few key Ontario ridings, but who knows which way? The Liberals will likely not benefit because the announcement is happening on its watch, but where the votes fall will depend on what particular idea seizes people's minds most.

If it's saving the jobs for the men on the assembly line, expect an NDP swing. If it's fixing the economy to keep the plants going, that could favour the Conservatives.

The one guy who won't be helped either way is Buzz.

Source: CTV

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