Ford's management lowers the early retirement age to 55 in its proposal for the ERE

The unions will continue negotiating: UGT asks to reduce the age to 54 or 53 years and STM insists that there be fewer layoffs.

Ford's management lowers the early retirement age to 55 in its proposal for the ERE

The unions will continue negotiating: UGT asks to reduce the age to 54 or 53 years and STM insists that there be fewer layoffs

The management of Ford Spain has presented this Friday to the unions its proposed agreement for the employment regulation file (ERE) that it intends to apply to 1,144 workers, in which it lowers the age to benefit from the early retirement program to 55 years, compared to the 56 that it raised at the beginning of the negotiations.

This Friday the sixth meeting of the ERE negotiation committee was held, in which the company has raised its proposal to resolve the surplus of personnel through the early retirement program and the severance pay program, with registrations up to 30 June and departures until December 31. The unions regret that not all their requests are included and will continue to negotiate.

Specifically, the company has proposed an early retirement program to which all Ford Spain employees born between January 1, 1960 and December 31, 1968 will be eligible, that is, the workforce between 63 and 55 years of age. December 31 -initially the company proposed 56 years--, except those linked by a contract of access to partial retirement.

Workers between 55 and 56 years of age will receive a complement to public unemployment benefits of 80% of the regulatory net salary and those over 57 years of age will have 85%.

Regarding the severance pay program, according to the company's proposal, all Ford Spain employees born since January 1, 1960 would be eligible, with the exception of those linked by a temporary, relief or access to employment contract. partial retirement.

Employees up to the age of 54 would receive compensation equivalent to 45 days per year of service, with a maximum of 42 months of gross annual salary and a minimum of one annuity, with an improvement of 20,000 euros gross of additional compensation to the corresponding amount. . Employees between the ages of 55 and 63 would receive compensation according to the specific tables of the agreement.

After assessing the proposal, the unions see that some of their requests have not been contemplated and will continue with the negotiations. The next meeting will take place on Monday at 10:00.

The majority union at the Almussafes factory, UGT, believes that the company is trying to reissue the previous file agreements under the same conditions and has indicated that, "although in another scenario it would be a good offer", "the situation is not exactly the itself" because "in the factory there is not the necessary number of colleagues over 55 years of age who could guarantee a sufficient percentage in the number of volunteers to take advantage of the plan".

"Consequently, it would leave too much room to cover only the youngest workers," he said.

Therefore, from the point of view of UGT, the company "must open the range to future candidates with 54 and 53 years" to avoid the "uncertain scenario" of not being able to resolve the ERE with the voluntary nature of potential candidates.

Thus, he explained that at the next meeting he will insist that management attend to his requests because "they must be aware that sometimes the wishes that one may have do not coincide with reality."

"If it really is intended to reach an agreement before the Easter holidays, as the company has stated, to substantiate the surplus of personnel in a reasonable period of time, you must expand your solution proposal in the terms that we are demanding by the UGT since the beginning of the negotiations. Otherwise, it will be left halfway," he warned.

For its part, STM has indicated that in the proposal there are some issues that it has requested "but not all". Thus, it admits that it "significantly improves" the previous ones with the reduction of early retirement from 55 to 56 years, which allows the number of employees who can take advantage of it voluntarily to increase.

It has also highlighted the extension of the departure period until December 31, since June 30 had initially been scheduled.

However, he has indicated that some proposals made by STM such as "respecting seniority", recovering subcontracted jobs or reducing the number of affected positions are not contemplated, nor is his request that it be expressly reflected in writing that the departures are voluntary.