About 650 hourly employees at Ford Motor Co.'s glass plant in Nashville have until Friday to decide whether they want to take the company's offer to get paid while going to college or accept an outright buyout of $100,000.In the college plan, the company will give employees half of their normal pay while they attend college or a technical school for up to four years.Ford will reimburse tuition at up to $15,000 a year for four continuous years while also giving workers full health-care benefits.
"It's a great opportunity for them to change careers or do something they always wanted to do but couldn't afford it," said Eric Mitchell, a spokesman for Automotive Holdings Components, the Ford division that owns the plants until a buyer can be found.
United Auto Workers Local 737 isn't encouraging its members to participate, however.
"We're saying if you think you want to go, you ought to take it while you've got the opportunity," Local 737 President Pete Wakefield said.
"We say that reluctantly because we're losing a lot of experience in our plant and we're trying to keep the thing running."
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