THE Unite and GMB trade unions have called on Ford to come clean over the future of its UK operations.
They are warning that its members at all five of the car giant’s UK sites were ‘ballot ready’ and ready to stand with any UK site faced with closure or compulsory redundancies.
In a statement to workers at Bridgend, Dagenham, Daventry, Dunton and Halewood, the Ford national joint negotiating committee said ‘if any location is faced with compulsory redundancies, or plant closure, then each location would be balloted for industrial action’.
The committee, which comprises Unite and GMB representatives, expressed frustration at the company’s lack of clarity over its future ‘footprint’.
It follows a drive by the carmaker to find £2 billion in ‘savings’ and cut a rumoured 10,000 jobs from its European operations amid recent warnings over Brexit.
With the UK being Ford’s biggest market in Europe, accounting for 40 per cent of sales, the unions also demanded that where possible all Ford vehicles sold in the UK should be powered by propulsion systems built in Dagenham or Bridgend, and transmissions made in Halewood Merseyside.
Over the years, Ford has gone from employing 100,000 workers at 27 plants in the UK, down to 9,000 at five locations which make engines and gearboxes, in addition to design and development.
Commenting jointly, Unite national officer Des Quinn and Justin Bowden of the GMB said: ‘Workers across all of Ford’s UK sites have had to endure the drip, drip of uncertainty, amid cost cutting, proposed joint ventures and statements around the transition to electric.
‘Ford’s UK workforce stands ready to meet the challenges currently facing the car industry and has the expertise to lead the way in the transition to electric and alternatively powered vehicles.
‘Ford must repay that faith and that of its loyal UK customers by giving workers clarity over their futures and investing in the UK.’