Unite, Britain's biggest union, has accused Ford of betraying its loyal workforce in Southampton and Dagenham as well as its loyal UK customer base and has vowed to fight the closures announced today (Thursday 25 October).
Ford has announced the end of production of the renowned transit van at its plant in Southampton by 2013 and the closure of its stamping and tooling facility in Dagenham with a total loss of around1,500 jobs and more in the supply chain.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "Ford has betrayed its workforce and its loyal customer base. Unite is going to fight these closures. This announcement has been handled disgracefully.
"Only a few months ago Ford was promising staff a new transit model for Southampton in 2014. The planned closures will really hurt the local economies and the supply chain will be badly hit - up to 10,000 jobs could be at risk.
"The Transit has been the best-selling van in the UK for over a quarter of a century. It has a future in the UK if this government is prepared to fight for real jobs and persuade Ford to keep manufacturing vehicles in the UK. It's now time for Vincent Cable to put his words into action and intervene for the sake of British manufacturing and skilled jobs.
"Unite will be meeting with our own UK union representatives and our European colleagues over the coming days to discuss the next steps.
"Where is the 'good news' in the real economy today Mr Cameron? Ford is ending vehicle production in the UK after almost a century. "
Ford employs 11,500 in the UK at Southampton, Dagenham, Bridgend, Dunton, Halewood and Warley.
Ford also announced today that the Panther diesel engine will be built in Dagenham and the company would be developing work at its engine plant in Bridgend and its design centre in Dunton but the company has not announced any new jobs as a result of this development.
Workers from Dagenham held a mass meeting today and there will be a mass meeting of workers from Southampton on Monday 29 October.
Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315 or Alex Flynn on 07967 665 869
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.