Len McCluskey, general secretary of the country’s largest union, Unite will be meeting shop stewards at Ford’s Bridgend engine plant in Wales tomorrow (Tuesday 7 February), to update them on meetings aimed at securing the plant’s future with the boss of Ford Europe Jim Farley.
Mr McCluskey will tell Unite reps that, while common ground was struck on the importance of the auto industry in Wales and wider UK, talks were still ongoing about cast iron assurances over jobs at the Bridgend plant.
Praising the workers as ‘world class,’ the Unite general secretary will pledge to work with Ford and other employers to secure the future of manufacturing in Wales. He will also outline Unite’s determination to work with the Labour-led Welsh Government to make sure the Westminster government’s industrial strategy delivers for Wales and the wider UK.
Commenting ahead of the meeting, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The automotive industry is a vital source of decent secure jobs in Wales. Our members at Ford need assurances that their high-skilled, highly-respected jobs which are essential to the prosperity of their communities and Wales as a whole will be secure post-Brexit.
"I have been talking to Ford's European chief executive about the future of the Bridgend plant. Unite will work with Ford and all industrial employers to secure the future of jobs and skills in Wales against the many challenges they face, not least from the government’s apparent determination to take Britain out of the single market.”
On working with the Welsh Government, Mr McCluskey added: “The Welsh Government has taken pioneering action to protect workers’ rights and their ability to defend themselves against abuses at work by tabling the Trade Union (Wales) bill, which exempts Welsh public sector workers from the Westminster government’s Trade Union Act.
“I have every confidence in the Welsh Government’s ability to now take the industrial strategy set out by the prime minister and use it to implement a progressive and strategic plan to support manufacturing, including automotive and steel. Unite will work closely with the Welsh Government in achieving that aim including demanding any additional powers its needs to secure a bright future for manufacturing in Wales.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.