July 16, 2006 in Nation/World

Ford reportedly to cut 22,000 jobs

The Spokesman-Review
 

Ford Motor Co. expects to shed 22,000 to 24,000 hourly jobs in North America by the end of next year as part of its turnaround effort, according to published reports.

The automaker also will likely exceed its goal of cutting up to 30,000 hourly workers by 2012, the Detroit News reported Saturday, citing company sources it didn’t identify.

Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans told the Associated Press on Saturday that she couldn’t discuss estimates for how many jobs might be cut by the end of 2007 because Ford has released estimates only through the end of this year.

Ford expects 10,000 to 11,000 of its hourly workers will take early retirement or buyout offers this year, Evans said. Including workers leaving through attrition will bring that to about 12,000, she said.

Ford is about six months into a North American turnaround plan announced in January that calls for closing 14 plants by 2012 and cutting up to 30,000 hourly workers. At the time, the automaker had about 87,000 hourly workers and 35,000 salaried workers in North America.

Washington

Minimum wage campaign begins

Democrats will spend $400,000 on radio ads that begin airing Monday in seven congressional districts, calling attention to GOP opposition to a higher minimum wage.

The ads are part of Democrats’ strategy to make that issue a centerpiece of this year’s congressional campaigns. Democrats have focused on areas hard hit economically, contrasting nine years of inaction on the minimum wage with $31,000 in congressional pay raises over the same period.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said the ads would run in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Mexico and Virginia, in the districts of vulnerable Republican incumbents.

New York

State judiciary armed and ready

It’s one way to assure order in the court.

The New York state Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics has ruled that it is permissible for judges to pack a pistol beneath their robes while on the bench.

“From an ethical standpoint, there is no prohibition … barring you from carrying a firearm while performing your duties on the bench,” the committee said in a decision published in last week’s New York Law Journal.

Judges would have to comply with existing laws to bring a gun into court.

The committee was asked by one of the state’s 3,400 judges whether it was “ethically permissible” to carry a pistol into the courtroom. And though it ruled in favor of pistol-packing jurists, the committee warned that judges must “be patient, dignified and courteous” to those appearing before the bench and behave in “a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.”


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