German labour representative says Ford execs have offered talks on restructuring plan
FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Ford executives have indicated they are willing to hold talks with labour representatives over planned structural changes at the U.S. carmaker's plants in Germany, the head of the worker's council at Ford's Cologne plant said on Saturday.
Ford said on Jan. 20 that its planned shift to electric vehicle (EV) production will require unspecified structural changes, giving rise to fears of job cuts at its German production sites.
Ford committed to an all-electric lineup in Europe by 2030 and its U.S. leadership has repeatedly flagged that EVs require less labour.
German union officials said on Wednesday that Ford would decide by mid-February how many jobs to cut in Europe.
"Ford management has indicated their willingness to talk," Benjamin Gruschka, who is affiliated with trade union IG Metall, told a media briefing in Cologne.
He said no date for talks had been agreed and that Ford had yet to give details on what their restructuring plan entails.
A Germany-based Ford spokesperson declined to comment on Saturday.
The IG Metall union has said it was bracing for a worst scenario for the Cologne site of up to 2,500 job cuts in product development and a further 700 in administration.
Gruschka also said Ford employees were ready to push back against any cutbacks, but declined to specify further.
BYD and car contract manufacturer Magna are among suitors interested in buying Ford's site in Saarlouis, Germany, according to media reports this month.
(Reporting by Matthias Inverardi;Writing by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Alison Williams)