Almost 2000 workers at Ford face being stood down on Thursday as a flow-on effect of a dispute involving car parts supplier CMI Industrial.
Ford gave the Thursday deadline at the start of the week saying 1800 workers at its Geelong and Broadmeadows plants may have to be stood down temporarily until the dispute is resolved.
About 80 workers at CMI's Campbellfield factory have been locked out since last Friday after the landlord changed the locks in a dispute over rent payment, believed to be around $150,000.
Federal Workplace Minister Bill Shorten has been in talks with the Victorian government over the appointment of an administrator to CMI.
"We're looking to have confirmation of a particular company who's been appointed as voluntary administrator and I'll be in touch with them," Mr Shorten said.
Ford spokeswoman Sinead Phipps said the company hoped the situation would be resolved as soon as possible.
She said Ford would work with the union to bring forward scheduled days off so that employees at its two Victorian plants were paid in the event of a stand-down.