DETROIT (Reuters) – The United Auto Staff is speaking with Ford Motor Co (F.N) about methods to keep away from layoffs because the No. 2 U.S. automaker builds extra electrical automobiles, a senior union official advised Reuters on Thursday.

Ford advised buyers Tuesday it deliberate to slash $14 billion in prices over the subsequent 5 years and shift investments away from inner combustion engines and sedans to develop extra vehicles, plus electrical and hybrid automobiles.

“We’ve been doing our due diligence to learn how a lot it (electrification) means to us,” UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles, head of the union’s Ford division stated in a phone interview. “We put them on discover early on that we need to be a part of this course of.”

“Up thus far they (Ford) have been agreeable that it’s in the perfect curiosity of the corporate and in addition our members for us to be a part of the method,” he added.

Ford’s push into electrical comes after Detroit rival Basic Motors Co (GM.N) unveiled plans so as to add 20 new battery electrical and gasoline cell automobiles to its world lineup by 2023.

Ford’s presentation to buyers this week beneath new chief government Jim Hackett, included a slide touting a 30 % discount in “hours per unit” to construct electrical automobiles.

Fewer hours imply fewer employees.

German automaker Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE) warned final month that electrical Mercedes fashions would initially be simply half as worthwhile as standard alternate options – forcing the group to search out financial savings by outsourcing extra part manufacturing, which can in flip threaten German jobs.

The UAW’s Settles stated he had met one-on-one with Hackett, a former CEO of workplace furnishings maker Steelcase Inc (SCS.N) and in a gathering with union leaders in current weeks.

He stated Hackett’s message had been that he needs to search out new alternatives for UAW employees as electrification evolves.

“The meeting could also be completely different, however he’s not seeking to get rid of any jobs,” Settles stated of Hackett. “He’s been constant in what he’s saying and I‘m optimistic he means it.”

The UAW vp stated the union and automaker had assembled groups to debate future jobs, together with for manufacturing employees and expert trades employees, Settles stated.

Settles stated Ford’s announcement in March that it will make investments $200 million on a brand new information heart in Michigan might create new union-represented, technology-related jobs.

“We’d like additional communications on what it means by way of jobs,” he stated.

Ford has accomplished 85 % of its 2015 union contract goal of making or retaining eight,500 union jobs by 2019 and will hit 100 % by the top of 2017, Settles stated.

A Ford spokeswoman stated the corporate and the UAW are in “fixed communications in regards to the enterprise.”

Reporting by Nick Carey; Modifying by Andrew Hay

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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