Ford will be ignoring the typical two-week summer shutdown this year as a way to make up for production downtime caused by the semiconductor shortage. That’s undoubtedly going to complicate some vacation plans. But Blue Oval has already given loads of workers time off and has more downtime planned through April and now that the necessary factory maintenance can be accomplished while assembly lines are idled during supply chain issues, leaving employees to schedule any time off through their local union.
No formal announcement has been made. However, the UAW confirmed that it’s been notified of the changes, with Automotive News having the skinny on exactly which facilities will be working through the summer break.
The automaker informed the UAW that workers at its Dearborn (Mich.) Truck Plant, Michigan Assembly Plant, Flat Rock (Mich.) Assembly Plant, Kentucky Truck Plant, Ohio Assembly Plant, Chicago Assembly Plant and Kansas City (Mo.) Assembly Plant will be working during the traditional shutdown weeks in late June and early July. John Savona, Ford’s vice president of manufacturing and labor affairs, said in a letter that employees at those sites would be able to schedule their typical two-week vacation time through the union. A spokeswoman said timing and other details would vary by plant.
He also announced that Chicago Assembly, Flat Rock Assembly and the Transit side of Kansas City Assembly would be down next week and that Ohio Assembly would be operating on a reduced schedule then. The downtime is in addition to a number of down weeks at other facilities Ford announced late last month.
“We understand these schedule disruptions are inconvenient,” Savona explained. “We also appreciate that this year’s summer schedule may be disappointing to those who look forward to time away during the traditional shutdown weeks. We thank you for your flexibility, understanding and your dedication — as we’ve seen throughout COVID-19 challenges and this year’s semiconductor shortages. We will get through this, working together, and we appreciate all you do for Ford every day.”
He also apologized for the lateness of the notification, again blaming the “volatility tied to the industry-wide semiconductor shortage” in his letter to the UAW that included a masked portrait at the bottom of the page.
[Images: Ford Motor Co.]