Ford Motor stated on Tuesday it had reached an agreement with the workers’ union at a historic Brazil plant it prepares to close by the end of the year, making the way for a friendly shutdown or potential takeover by a regional buyer.
The agreement would permit for Ford’s employees to transition from employment with the U.S. automaker to a potential buyer, if a deal finalizes. The pact includes an exit package for employees, although the details have not been revealed, as well as psychological support.
Ford had declared previously this year it would close its Sao Bernardo do Campo plant, the company’s oldest in the nation, and depart from the heavy truck business in South America, which is based in that plant.
The decision left the future uncertain for some 3,000 employees and triggered long strikes, paralyzing production for weeks at the sprawling plant. It also urged the governor of the state of Sao Paulo, where Sao Bernardo is located, to act as a broker to attempt to find a purchaser for the plant that might be able to maintain the jobs.
Local manufacturer CAOA, which already produces vehicles for China’s Chery and Korea’s Hyundai, has stated it is in talks to purchase the plant. A representative for CAOA stated on Tuesday the company had no other updates on the negotiations.
Ford has also declared layoffs at a separate plant, in Camaçari in the northeast state of Bahia, where the company has stated it has 700 employees in excess of its needs.