Ford Labor Affairs VP Bill Dirksen Retiring
Thirty-five-year Ford employee Bill Dirksen will retire Dec. 1, ending his nearly six-year stint as the vice president of Ford Labor Affairs, the automaker announced on Tuesday. The announcement of Dirksen’s retirement comes mere days after Ford reached an agreement with the UAW; as the former executive director of U.S. Labor Affairs, Dirksen was vital in Ford and UAW reaching agreements in 2007, 2009, and 2011 and played a major role in the ratification of the four-year contract last Friday.
“Ford and the UAW have a great record of working collaboratively to make sure we are competitive and protecting good-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of Automotive. “Bill has been a big part of that process for 15 years and is highly respected on both sides of the table.”
Dirksen took on the role of VP of Labor Affairs on Jan. 1, 2014. In November 2015, Ford and the UAW agreed to a four-year deal that paved the way for the return of both the Ford Ranger and Ford Bronco to the United States. Having led a second successful negotiation between Ford and UAW last week, Dirksen will leave his employer of 35 years effective Dec. 1.
Replacing Dirksen is Kevin Legel, the current director of U.S. Labor Affairs and No. 2 in the recent negotiations. Legel has been in his current role since October 2017; since joining Ford in 1993, he’s fulfilled several human resources roles and served as the manager of Labor Affairs for Vehicle Operations.
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