RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
On Fridays our business report focuses on your money. Today, Ford offers buyouts to its union workers.
The Ford Motor Company will offer buyout packages to all of its 75,000 domestic factory workers. It's an effort to speed up its restructuring plans. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.
JIM ZARROLI: Ford said earlier this year that it would lay off 30,000 employees and shut down 14 plants over the next six years as part of an effort to revive its sagging fortunes. But the company has continued to struggle since then, losing $1.4 billion during the first half of this year, and the Detroit News quoted unnamed sources as saying the company's overall losses for the year would be significantly worse than expected.
Wall Street has been pressuring the company to accelerate its turnaround plans, and today it is expected to do just that. Last week, the company hired Boeing executive Alan Mulally as its new CEO, replacing Bill Ford, Jr. And Mulally has been meeting with Ford's board of directors to discuss what steps to take next.
A statement released by the United Auto Workers yesterday said Ford employees who agree to take early retirement would be compensated financially, either with a lump sum payment or what's called a life income benefit. The benefit would be determined by seniority and age.
UAW officials said in a statement they are deeply concerned about Ford's loss of market share. The company also said yesterday that two executives were leaving, including Executive Vice President Anne Stevens, one of the highest ranking women in the automobile industry.
Jim Zarroli, NPR News, New York.
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