Ford angry with German Bundeswehr′s recruitment drive in Cologne | News | DW | 04.04.2019
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Ford angry with German Bundeswehr's recruitment drive in Cologne

A military recruitment ad has urged Ford employees threatened by job cuts to "do something that really matters." The head of Ford's workers' council called the campaign "disrespectful," saying Ford had tried to stop it.

The German Bundeswehr on Thursday rolled out a new recruitment campaign targeting Ford employees as the US automaker prepares to shed thousands of jobs at its German factories.

The ad said "Job Fort?" — or "Job gone?" — with part of the phrase using Ford's trademark script, adding "Do something that really matters." The campaign was criticized by Ford and the automaker's workers' council.

"This advertisement was not coordinated with Ford at all," Reiner Ludwig, managing director for human resources at Ford-Werke Ltd, told DW. "The Bundeswehr tries to enforce its interests without considering the difficult current situation of our company and the sensitive sentiment in our workforce."

Ludwig noted that Ford had "attempted to avoid this campaign... but the Federal Ministry of Defense did not show any willingness to talk about this issue."

Martin Hennig, who heads Ford Europe's workers' council, called the campaign "inappropriate and disrespectful."

Read more: German armed forces recruit fewer minors

'Career perspective'

But a spokeswoman for the Defense Ministry told the dpa news agency that Ford shouldn't take offense.

"The Bundeswehr wants to offer people affected by job cuts a career perspective in uniform or in our civilian sector," the spokeswoman said.

Read more: Bundeswehr floats idea of recruiting EU citizens

Bundeswehr recruitment practices in other areas, not least German schools, have also faced criticism of late.

Billboard showing Ford logo in Cologne, Germany

Ford has announcement massive job cuts at its German factories

Jobs on the line

Last month, Ford Europe announced it would cut more than 5,000 jobs in Germany as part of its restructuring plan aimed at boosting profits.

The cuts are expected to occur through voluntary redundancies and early retirement schemes, with Ford aiming to do them "in the most socially responsible way possible."

Ford Europe employs more than 50,000 people across Europe, with nearly half of them in Germany.

Read more: Germany: 1 in 3 unemployed can't afford a proper meal

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