Following Ford's announcement that it would shift more resources to electric cars, the United Auto Workers has begun talks with the automaker about the potential impact of more electric-car production on jobs.
. . . In a presentation to investors earlier this week, Ford CEO Jim Hackett said electric cars will reduce "hours to build" by 30 percent compared to internal-combustion models. If a car takes less time to build, the carmaker won't need as many workers. Settles said he has met one-on-one with Hackett to discuss the issue.
U.S. factory activity surged to a more than 13-year high in September amid strong gains in new orders and raw material prices, pointing to underlying strength in the economy even as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are expected to dent growth in the third quarter.
The economic outlook was also bolstered by other data on Monday showing a rebound in construction spending in August. The acceleration in manufacturing activity and the accompanying increase in prices could harden expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity surged to a reading of 60.8 last month, the highest reading since May 2004, from 58.8 in August.
The reported cuts would dwarf the 600 layoffs the firm reported last year to California authorities, and would eliminate some 5,000 employees — 10 percent of its workforce, the report said.
“The cuts at the company, which has about 50,000 workers, are likely to affect workers in the U.S. and abroad, including managers,” Bloomberg reported, based on unnamed sources.
California Democrats have finally found a cause that’s worth suspending their environmental passions. The United Automobile Workers are struggling for a presence in Tesla’s Fremont plant, and organized labor has called in a political favor.
Since 2010 California has offered a $2,500 rebate to encourage consumers to buy electric vehicles. But last week, at unions’ behest, Democrats introduced an amendment to cap-and-trade spending legislation that would require participating manufacturers to get a sign-off from the state labor secretary verifying that they are “fair and responsible in their treatment of workers.”
San Mateo-based SolarCity Corp. and its parent, Tesla Inc., plan to lay off more than 200 employees at their Roseville offices, part of continuing restructuring in the aftermath of Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity last fall.