Ford to transfer over 1,000 workers at Flat Rock assembly plant

Posted at 6:27 AM, Apr 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-01 10:44:41-04

FLAT ROCK, Mich. (WXYZ) — Ford is expected to begin eliminating more than 1,000 jobs at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant beginning Monday. Those workers affected will be transferred to other locations in southeast Michigan.

Ford filed notice with the state previously — the notice identified 1,000 workers in addition to 12 salaried workers that would be part of a “mass layoff.” According to the company, the language is dictated by the state and many of the jobs will be transferred to other plants, including a number of jobs in Livonia.

The shift comes as the plant winds down to a single shift. However, Ford has also announced plans to bring 900 jobs to the facility for work on an all-electric car.

"We had to change some of our plans," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of global operations, when Ford announced the new plans for the plant in March.

In a statement, a Ford spokesperson said, "Flat Rock Assembly Plant is important to Ford. While the business realities may have changed which vehicle we build there, our commitment to that plant is clear. We have a strong workforce there and look forward to having strong presence at the plant in the future."

“It’s like everything is up in the air,” said Darance Marshall, a Ford worker who told 7 Action News he’s transferring to a new job in Dearborn. “A lot of people don’t know where they’re going, or if they have a job.”

Marshall said most of those left “up in the air” are the temporary workers.

Of the roughly 1,000 workers who will be transferred, around 350 are considered temporary employees.

That said, Marshall noted that there’s hope in the plant too. He said with the electric car announcement, and the news that 900 new jobs are coming, there’s a feeling that this is a short hiccup in work at the plant.

Production for the new car is expected to begin in 2023.

The Flat Rock plant now builds the Mustang muscle car and the Lincoln Continental luxury car, which has a murky future because Ford has announced it intends to stop selling all cars in the U.S. but the Mustang.

Last November, it transferred 650 workers from Flat Rock to other factories.