Ford’s Redundancies!

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UNITE’S leadership said it wants ‘full involvement’ in the negotiations over the axing of 275 managerial, supervisory and engineering jobs announced by Ford in the UK yesterday.

The sackings are part of the 500 such job cuts across Ford’s Europe operations announced yesterday.

The union claimed the sackings, at Ford’s Warley HQ in Essex and research and development centre at Dunton, also in Essex, will be ‘voluntary’.

Unite national officer, Roger Maddison, said: ‘Unite will be asking that its officers and reps have full involvement in this process which will be voluntary. It represents a 10% cut in the 2,500-strong UK managerial and engineering workforce.

‘We had a meeting with the company yesterday and we stressed two main points. Firstly, that the work that these employees are doing is not, at some future stage, outsourced from the UK.

‘We are also concerned that there is a coherent business case in going forward. We don’t want the remaining managerial and engineering staff having excess workloads imposed on them, once their colleagues have left the company.

‘Ford has said that it has excess capacity in these areas and we have to recognise the challenging economic conditions that Ford is facing, with losses of $1bn on its European operations this year.

‘Naturally, we don’t like any loss of employment and we will be negotiating the best possible redundancy packages for those wishing to leave.’

Ford employs about 15,000 workers in the UK.

GM has closed its plants at Luton and Ellesmere Port for this current week.

• Unison has submitted a motion to Labour’s annual Conference in Manchester, attacking the public sector pay freeze.

It reads: ‘Conference condemns the prolonged pay freezes that mean public sector workers have had their real terms pay cut dramatically and notes that most of the lowest paid have not received the £250 rise that Osborne promised.

‘Conference believes that depressing workers’ living standards in a recession is self-defeating and contributes to economic stagnation.’