Over 5,000 Ford workers are being balloted for strike action in a row over job security and pensions warned Unite, Britain’s biggest union.
Unite is balloting Ford’s hourly paid workforce, who work mainly on the production line, across the company’s six UK sites: Bridgend, Daventry, Halewood, Dunton and two sites in Dagenham.
The workers are demanding commitments to job security in line with their counterparts in other EU countries and improvements in the pension scheme.
In 2012, Ford announced the end of production at its plant in Southampton and the closure of its stamping and tooling facility in Dagenham with a total loss of around 1,500 jobs and more in the supply chain. Ford workers are fed up with always bearing the brunt of cuts and are calling on the company to commit to greater job security through a legally binding information and consultation agreement.
In 2010 Ford informed Unite it intended to use the CPI (Consumer Price Index) to calculate its inflation linked increases to pension scheme payments, rather than the more representative RPI (retail price index).Workers are now calling on the company to look at ways to improve the company pension scheme but Ford has refused to enter into discussion on the issue.
Unite national officer Roger Maddison said: “Ford workers in the UK are always on the frontline when the company wants to axe staff. After successive rounds of job cuts including the closure of the Southampton plant, staff now want Ford to make some commitments to job security going forward.
“This is not an unreasonable request but the company is refusing to give its loyal UK workforce and their families some well-deserved rights in line with their EU counterparts. Workers are also angry that the company is refusing to look at ways to improve the pension scheme. Workers on the production line feel they have no choice and are balloting for strike action to get the company back around the negotiating table.”
For more information contact Ciaran Naidoo from Unite on 07768 931 315
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
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.