Ford Motor Company is preparing its employees for possible layoffs as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on the economy.
CEO Jim Hackett made the warning in a letter to workers Thursday. CNBC reported that Hackett said the company is working to keep jobs amid the outbreak, but that if the "effects of the coronavirus on the global economy and Ford go on for longer — or are more severe — than we currently anticipate, we may have to take tougher actions."
To help delay potential layoffs, the company is pausing merit-based raises and placing a hiring freeze on some non-critical positions. Hackett said some employees may have their hours reduced and others may be offered voluntary sab baticals.
Starting May 1, the company will defer 20% to 50% of executive salaries for at least the next five months. Hackett will defer half of his own salary, and Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. will defer his entire salary.
On Thursday, Ford said it plans to restart production at a number of plants in North America in April. Fiat Chrysler, Honda and Toyota are also looking to reopen factories next month.
Contains footage from CNN.