Automobile

Ford to skip traditional summer shutdown at many plants amid chip shortage

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is forgoing the traditional two-week summer shutdown at most of its U.S. plants because of the ongoing semiconductor shortage, and employees will instead have to schedule their vacation time through their individual locals, the automaker said Thursday.

Additionally, Ford announced new downtime for plants in Illinois, Michigan and Missouri amid the crisis.

The automaker informed the UAW that workers at its Dearborn (Mich.) Truck Plant, Michigan Assembly Plant, Flat Rock (Mich.) Assembly Plant, Kentucky Truck Plant, Ohio Assembly Plant, Chicago Assembly Plant and Kansas City (Mo.) Assembly Plant will be working during the traditional shutdown weeks in late June and early July. John Savona, Ford’s vice president of manufacturing and labor affairs, said in a letter that employees at those sites would be able to schedule their typical two-week vacation time through the union. A spokeswoman said timing and other details would vary by plant.

He also announced that Chicago Assembly, Flat Rock Assembly and the Transit side of Kansas City Assembly would be down next week and that Ohio Assembly would be operating on a reduced schedule then. The downtime is in addition to a number of down weeks at other facilities Ford announced late last month.

“We understand these schedule disruptions are inconvenient,” Savona wrote. “We also appreciate that this year’s summer schedule may be disappointing to those who look forward to time away during the traditional shutdown weeks. We thank you for your flexibility, understanding and your dedication — as we’ve seen throughout COVID-19 challenges and this year’s semiconductor shortages. We will get through this, working together, and we appreciate all you do for Ford every day.”

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