May 20 (UPI) -- Ford Motor Co. said Monday it is planning to layoff white collar 7,000 workers, with 800 coming this summer -- most in the Detroit area.
The automaker said the layoffs will start with 500 salaried workers leaving involuntarily this week and another 300 in June. The majority of the affected workers will be notified Tuesday.
"Ford is a family company and saying goodbye to colleagues is difficult and emotional," Ford CEO James Hackett said in a email Monday. "We have moved away from past practices in some regions where team members who were separate had to leave immediately with their belongings, instead giving people the choice to stay a few days to wrap up and say goodbye."
The cuts are part of a massive reorganization that will ultimately result in 7,000 voluntary and involuntary separations worldwide through August. The goal is to remove layers of management, give managers more authority and decide which skills are valuable for the future. The move, it said, will save Ford about $600 million a year.
"As we enter the final weeks of Smart Redesign in North America, I want to update you on our overall progress," Hackett said in the email. "To succeed in our competitive industry, and position Ford to win in a fast-changing future, we must reduce bureaucracy, empower managers, speed decision making, focus on the most valuable work and cut costs. This required intensive work across multiple layers of our company."
Employees interviewed by the Detroit Free Press said a significant portion would be leaving the world headquarters in the Detroit area.
Ford said in March it would cut at least manufacturing 5,000 jobs in Europe.