UAW: Ford closing plants in Minnesota, Virginia - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

UAW: Ford closing plants in Minnesota, Virginia

DETROIT (AP) _ Ford Motor Co., which is closing plants and cutting jobs in an effort to improve results from its North American auto business, plans to close plants in Norfolk, Va., and St. Paul, Minn., union officials said Thursday.

The nation's second biggest automaker announced in January it would close 14 plants, but only identified five of them. It said at the time it would name two more plants later in the year.

Ford plans to announce it is closing the St. Paul plant in 2009, the United Auto Workers local told its members Thursday in a written bulletin. A Ford worker read the memo to The Associated Press.

Local 879 president Rob McKenzie refused to comment, but said the union would hold a news conference Thursday afternoon.

The Twin Cities assembly plant makes the Ranger pickup, which has seen sales decline sharply in recent years. It employs about 1,775 UAW members.

In Norfolk, Chris Kimmons, president of United Auto Workers Local 919, also said the Dearborn-based automaker was to inform the plant's employees of the closure Thursday afternoon. It employs about 2,400 workers.

The Norfolk plant makes F-150 pickup truck, and is expected to close by 2008, Kimmons said.

Reached about the Twin Cities plant, Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari said: ``We have nothing to announce at this point.'' A message seeking comment was left for her regarding Norfolk.
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