Ford’s Electric Car Push Will Cost Jobs, UAW Believes

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.

On Tuesday, Ford announced that it would cut spending by $14 billion, as well as move investments away from internal-combustion powertrains and sedans to focus on trucks and hybrid and all-electric powertrains. The UAW is looking into whether that shift will put jobs at risk.

“We’ve been doing our due diligence to find out how much it [electrification] means to us,” UAW vice president Jimmy Settles, who also heads the union’s Ford division, said in an interview with Automotive News. “We put them on notice early that we want to be part of the process.”

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.

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