Local Ford Workers Prepare For Bad News

CLEVELAND (AP) - Ford Motor Co. workers in northeast Ohio are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best about their future with the automaker.

Ford is expected to announce a restructuring plan on Friday that could include early retirement incentives and idling and closing plants.

United Auto Workers officials in the Cleveland area have said that the company has done a good job of keeping its plan under wraps.

Ford officials have said that the plan is aimed at increasing manufacturing flexibility while reducing capacity and renewing focus on developing high quality products.

Analysts are saying that thousands of jobs could be cut.

Any northeast Ohio job losses would be another blow to the regional economy. The region has lost approximately 4,500 jobs in recent months.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)