Ford lays off 90 at Chicago Assembly with robocall

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

Nearly 100 workers at Ford Motor Co.’s Chicago Assembly Plant got an unwelcome Halloween surprise that had nothing to do with pesky trick-or-treaters: an automated Friday phone message announcing that they had just been laid off.

The calls went out to approximately 90 workers as the automaker temporarily adjusts its workforce at the 2.8 million-square-foot plant, which makes the Lincoln MKS, Ford Taurus and Ford Explorer.

“Our goal, as always, is to return the workers back to their positions as soon as possible based on the needs of our business,” Ford said in a statement.

Ford said it doesn’t usually use robocalls to tell workers they’re laid off. The Chicago plant did because the layoffs are expected to be temporary.

Chicago Assembly employs 4,099 workers and opened in 1924, according to Ford’s website.

Explorer sales increased 7.9 percent to 16,496 in October, but MKS and Taurus sales struggled last month, down 43 percent and 37.4 percent, respectively, according to Autodata.

On Monday, a group of female workers at the plant filed a lawsuit against Ford alleging sexual harassment and discrimination. The women claim male co-workers, managers and supervisors would target them if they complained about propositions and other inappropriate conduct.

Ford issued a statement saying it is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, adding that it takes reports of harassment and discrimination seriously.

mmartinez@detroitnews.com

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