Claycomo Ford plant puts workers back on line with new third shift

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CLAYCOMO, Mo. - Hundreds of new or formerly laid-off workers at the Ford assembly plant in Claycomo started a new third shift Monday.

"Truck sales kind of follow the housing industry and as the housing industry sort of picks up, so do truck sales," said Jeff Wright, President of the United Auto Workers Local 249 union.

That's why the company said 900 hourly workers, made up of new hires and temporarily laid off workers, made their way to the plant to help meet demand in that new shift.

Wright said he believes about 700 workers are new, while the rest are just back at work.

"Most all the new hires, they're happy to have a job you know and a lot of the senior employees, its good to be back," Wright said.

Michael Dunn said he was laid off last July. He is not back at work yet, but said he and other laid off employees knew this day would come.

"You try to enjoy the time you have off because like I said once you back at work, the job is hard," Dunn said.

Tasks might be different when Dunn gets back.

Ford unveiled the transit van in March. Wright said these new workers could transition into assembling the van next year, if demand for the F-series drops.

That's why they aren't concerned about future lay offs.

"I don't think Ford is going to add a shift of Ford F-150s without putting some thought into it. So we feel good it's going to be around for a while," Wright said.

A Ford spokesperson said they've found vans sell well and said there could be a possibility of more jobs in the future.

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