When President Bush announced a government loan to General Motors and Chrysler last week, he called for the end of the jobs bank program, which provides benefits and partial wages for laid-off employees.
While Ford is not set to receive aid anytime soon, ending the jobs bank program could hurt former Ford employees in Louisville. Retail researcher John Talmage says ending the program during a restructuring of the Big Three automakers would leave thousands of workers without pay or updated skills.
“The most important thing for a laid-off worker is to find a new job as quickly as possible,” he says. “If the infrastructure that supports sustaining that worker during that unemployment and retraining, retooling and redeploying that worker ends, then, in this economy, it’s going to be very hard to make those kind of matches.”
The United Auto Workers union previously agreed to suspend the jobs bank program to help the struggling automakers.