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2011 Ford Explorer Brings 1,200 Workers To Chicago Plant

First Posted: 03/27/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 04:20 PM ET

Ford

Governor Pat Quinn and Mayor Richard M. Daley spoke to a crowd of cheering auto workers at a South Side Ford plant Tuesday, where they announced that 1,200 jobs would be added to the plant where the 2011 Ford Explorer will be assembled.

While the Explorer is currently assembled in Louisville, Kentucky, that plant is expected to shift its focus to smaller vehicles as the Explorer assembly moves to Chicago, NBC Chicago reports. Ford will spend roughly $400 million getting Chicago plant ready for the SUV production.

On Tuesday, Governor Quinn made the big announcement to Ford workers that 1,200 jobs would be added--which drew cheers despite the fact that workers will not be paid as much.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

.

..new union workers will be the first hired by Ford at sharply reduced wages, under a 2007 contract that allows Ford, General Motors and Chrysler to fill some jobs at about half the pay of what current workers made when they started, and with lower benefits.

In any case, both Daley and Quinn were greeted with smiling faces at the plant on Tuesday.

"Remember, this is a Chicago plant," Daley said to the crowd. "We have work ethic, we have values, we have a commitment to excellence."

Everyone cheered.

Watch video of today's announcement here:

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com/video.

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Filed by Will Guzzardi  |