Auchter's Art: Proactively raising stress levels
Ford Motor Co. announced this week that it plans to let go 3,000 white-collar workers, many of whom live in Michigan. In the olden days (pre-Great Recession), a move like this would have been hard to understand. Generally companies didn't start shedding white-collar workers until they were actually losing money. Ford is highly profitable at the moment and sitting on tons of cash. Also, Ford and other automobile manufacturers have been very clear about their need to attract and retain talent to ensure their success.
But now, the rationale is that the company is preparing itself for (1) a major shift to EV production and (2) anticipated economic volatility. Agree or disagree with the cuts, Ford is acting proactively for itself and its shareholders, and maybe even to the benefit of many of the affected workers (depending on the quality of the severance packages).
However, for the Ford workers who remain, stress levels are likely to move up a notch or two. Your employer has just demonstrated that they are perfectly willing to sacrifice you. I mean, it's 2022, and none of this is a surprise. But all the same, it feels very much like "The Princess Bride" and what the Dread Pirate Roberts used to say Westley at the end of each day: "Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning."
John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.