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Ford offering unpaid leave at Louisville Assembly Plant

UAW Local 862 president Todd Dunn says Ford is asking Louisville Assembly Plant workers to take unpaid time off.
Jacob Munoz
LPM News
UAW Local 862 president Todd Dunn says Ford is asking Louisville Assembly Plant workers to take unpaid time off.

Ford Motor Company is offering workers to take unpaid leaves of absence at its Louisville Assembly Plant.

UAW Local 862 president Todd Dunn said Wednesday the automaker is dealing with overstaffing at the plant, which employs more than 3,000 hourly workers.

He said more employees are returning from medical leave and other absences. They’re coming back to earn extra pay ahead of the holidays and qualify for a potential union contract bonus, among other reasons.

“They have a very low number of absences due to the fact of a contract and everything. So a perfect storm, right, is what it is,” Dunn said.

LPM News reviewed a document that appears to show Ford offering plant workers the opportunity to take a leave of absence. The form allows certain employees to sign up for two-week periods of unpaid leave. It asks them to submit their responses by Wednesday and notes that they would not be eligible to apply for unemployment during an absence.

Ford did not respond to a request for comment on the Louisville Assembly Plant, which makes Ford Escapes and Lincoln Corsairs.

Two weeks ago, the union had about 8,700 employees walk off the job at Ford’s other big plant, the Kentucky Truck Plant.

The ongoing strike is a major blow to the automaker, which makes 16% of its global revenue at the plant and feeds into operations at its Louisville Assembly Plant and Ohio Assembly Plant.

But Dunn said Ford’s offer at the Louisville Assembly Plant was not caused by that strike.

The company has been using salaried, non-union employees to keep work going at the Kentucky Truck Plant.

The UAW has been striking at various facilities operated by Ford, Stellantis and General Motors to push the automakers to accept its bargaining demands while the sides negotiate new contracts.

Jacob is LPM's Business and Development Reporter. Email Jacob at jmunoz@lpm.org.

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