GMB and Unite vow to fight job losses in Dagenham and Southampton


Unions have accused Ford of betraying its workforce following the announcement it is to shed 1,500 jobs in Dagenham and Southampton.

The company announced the end of production of the renowned transit van in Southampton by 2013 and the closure of its stamping and tooling facility in Dagenham.

GMB and Unite have vowed to fight the closures and have called a mass meeting of the Southampton workforce for Monday.

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.”

GMB national officer Justin Bowden said: “Ford’s track record in Britain is one of broken promises and factory closures. This is devastating news forthe workforce at Dagenham and Southampton and  a huge blow for the UK manufacturing industry.

“It is an appalling indictment of Ford that in their largest market in Europe they are ending 110 years of vehicle production as they move van production to a low cost economy.”

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