Innovative Approach to Plant Closings: The UAW-Ford Experience at San Jose

By Hansen, Gary B. | Monthly Labor Review, June 1985 | Go to article overview

Innovative Approach to Plant Closings: The UAW-Ford Experience at San Jose


Hansen, Gary B., Monthly Labor Review


Innovative approach to plant closings: the UAW-Ford experience at San Jose

A systematic approach to plant closings and worker retraining was developed by the Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers union (UAW) in the fall of 1982, when Ford announced the impending shutdown of its San Jose assembly plant. This joint labor-management initiative provided assistance to dislocated workers in the form of orientation sessions, assessment and testing, basic education, vocational exploration courses, in-plant seminars, targeted vocational retraining, prepaid tuition assistance, on-the-job training, job search training and placement, and preferential placement.

The decision to close the San Jose assembly plant was announced on November 18, 1982. Company officials believed it would be unfair to employees to hold out hope for jobs in the future. They promised San Jose workers substantial termination benefits and help with finding new jobs. When possible, Ford would relocate workers to other company plants. The date of the official closing of the plant was set for 6 months later, May 20, 1983.

When the plant closing was announced, the eight-member local Employee Development and Training Program Committee, recently created under the provisions of the UAW-Ford 1982 national agreement, moved into action. Jointly chaired by the plant's industrial relations manager and the UAW local 560 bargaining chairman, the committee worked closely with a representative of the California Economic Adjustment Team, a statewide "rapid response' unit created by the governor in March 1981 to coordinate the responses of State agencies to plant closings. Together, the State's Economic Adjustment Team and the plant's Employee Development and Training Committee conveyed a community task force. Within a week, plans were under way to mobilize the necessary resources to provide services to San Jose workers.

The local Employee Development and Training Program Committee and Ford management established an Employment and Retraining Center in the plant 4 days after the announcement of the plant closing. Two supervisors and two hourly paid union members were assigned to serve as training coordinators and respond to the needs of the workers. Ford paid the salaries and wages of the Employee Development Training Program Committee members and the Employment and Retraining Center employees. The company also agreed to provide space at the plant to house other public agencies, such as the California Employment Development Department (which provided job service counseling) and Milpitas Adult Education. The delivery of services to the workers began immediately, and some services continued for more than a year after the plant was shut down.

In the 4 weeks following the November 1982 plant shutdown announcement, procedures were established and services organized under the direction of the local Employee Development Training Program Committee with the assistance of the California Employment Development Department and other agencies. In addition to providing four full-time training coordinators, the Committee organized and coordinated a variety of programmatic responses. Most of the services were delivered onsite during and after work hours.

Orientation and benefits. Systematic orientation meetings were held to inform workers what was happening, what services were available, what benefits they could expect to receive, and what procedures were necessary to participate in various programs. In addition, Ford prepared and distributed "personalized' information for each worker about what his or her benefit situation would be at the time of shutdown.

Most of the workers were eligible for 52 to 104 weeks of supplemental unemployment benefits. They also received continuation of company-paid health insurance for up to 25 months, and nearly all were eligible for either immediate retirement or subsequent vested pension benefits upon reaching age 55 or 62. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Innovative Approach to Plant Closings: The UAW-Ford Experience at San Jose
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.