It looks as if more good news is headed to the area economy and Ford
Motor Co.'s Claycomo plant.
On Thursday, a senior Ford executive will make a "jobs announcement" at the plant, the company said.
Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, will be there along with Gov. Jay Nixon; Jimmy Settles, who is a United Auto Workers vice president; and Doug Scott, marketing manager for Ford's Truck Group.
The company isn't providing additional information, but UAW Local 249 dropped a big clue on its website, indicating that the announcement is likely to be the addition of a third shift to the assembly line for the F-150.
The union said Ford hasn't given a "solid date" for adding the shift and said there was some dickering over the seniority rights of the auto workers who would be called back to run the line.
According to the union, the company is trying to get out of some provisions of the local agreement, such as allowing current workers the chance to upgrade to more preferred jobs. Instead, the company wants to put new hires with no seniority in those jobs.
No figures were given on the number of additional jobs at the plant, but a shift on the F-150 line could add about 900 jobs. That's on top of the new jobs being added later this year when the plant starts building the Transit commercial van. Three F-150 shifts and the Transit production could push total employment to around 6,000.
The F-150 pickup is facing some tough competition as other automakers introduce redesigned pickup trucks. But F-150 sales in March were up 26 percent compared with the same month last year. It was the second best month for sales in the last five years, according to the company.
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