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Ford to pay $750 mn to staff in closing Genk plant

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US automaker Ford said Tuesday that it would pay at least $750 million to workers being let go as it closes its plant in Genk, Belgium, after reaching an agreement with unions.

Ford Motor Company, which has suffered heavy losses in Europe, announced in October it would shutter the Genk plant at the end of 2014, wiping out more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The announcement triggered shock waves in Belgium and union blockades at the plant, which employs 4,000 hourly workers and 300 salaried employees.

"We recently completed negotiations with representatives of our hourly employees at the Genk facility regarding separation benefits, and the resulting proposal has been approved by a majority vote," Ford said in a regulatory filing.

"We estimate the cost of these hourly employee separation benefits, subject to formal closure of the information and consultation process, to be about $750 million, which will be cash expenditures."

Ford said it was still negotiating separation benefits with the salaried employees.

A Ford spokesman contacted by AFP declined comment on the cost of planned closures of two facilities in England.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130319/ford-pay-750-mn-staff-closing-genk-plant