After getting $100M from Michigan to create 3,000 jobs, Ford announces 3,000 layoffs

Ford says a significant percentage of the job cuts will happen in Michigan

Two months after Michigan lawmakers gave Ford Motor Co. $100 million with the expectation it would create 3,030 new jobs in making electric vehicles, Ford announced 3,000 upcoming layoffs — and many of the affected will be in Michigan.

Last month, Bloomberg News reported that Ford had planned 8,000 layoffs, which the company never confirmed. These 3,000 job losses could be the end of the pain, or just the beginning.

A Ford spokesman, Mark Truby, told the Detroit Free Press, “The majority of our employee base is in Michigan so therefore a significant percentage of the job cuts are in Michigan.”

So much for the hope, expressed by State Sen. Adam Hollier, D-Detroit, that the layoffs would mostly affect people outside of Michigan. Hollier was among the lawmakers to vote yes on the $100 million payment.

Since the money was pulled from a larger pile of money that had already been appropriated, only the state House and Senate appropriations committees — representing only about one-third of Michigan lawmakers — had a say.

State Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, was among the three senators to vote no, in a losing effort.

After the vote, Runestad questioned how Ford could hire with one hand and fire with the other.

That, apparently, is Ford’s plan.

To keep the $100 million incentive and not have it clawed back by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Ford would need to hire 3,030 people, adding to the 22,190 factory workers it employed in Michigan at the time of the agreement.

The “net jobs” number in official documents refers to factory jobs, not all jobs, meaning Ford is within its rights to take taxpayer money to hire blue-collar workers, while laying off their white-collar counterparts.

So now we know: The next time Ford comes to lawmakers asking for taxpayer money for a project — and there will be a next time — our representatives must close such loopholes.

Any standard involving job growth should use net change from all current jobs, with no distinction between blue and white collars.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.