Ford offers to hold talks with workers over German job cuts

Ford executives have offered to hold talks with labor representatives over planned structural changes at the automaker‘s Cologne plant and other German sites, a labor boss said.

Ford plans to cut thousands of jobs, mostly in product development, in Europe as it switches to an electric-only brand in the region, according to sources.

Management has presented a worst-case scenario to workers of up to 2,500 job cuts in product development and a further 700 in administration, unions say.

Ford management has indicated their willingness to talk, Benjamin Gruschka, who is affiliated with trade union IG Metall, told a media briefing in Cologne on Saturday.

He said no date for talks had been agreed and that Ford had yet to give details on what their restructuring plan entails.

A Germany-based Ford spokesperson declined to comment on Saturday.

Ford plans to restructure its European operations as its drops its traditionally high-selling but low-margin passenger cars including the Focus and Fiesta to switch to crossovers and all-electric vehicles.

The automaker has warned that its shift to EV production meant it would require fewer labor hours to build cars.

German union officials have said that Ford would decide by mid-February how many jobs it will cut in Europe.

Chinese automaker BYD and contract manufacturer Magna are among companies interested in buying Ford’s site in Saarlouis, Germany, according to media reports.

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