Ford may cut more than 1000 jobs at Bridgend plant in worse case scenario
By April Kirstin Chua
The American car giant is on the verge of slashing 1,160 jobs and Unions are fighting to keep it at all costs. Ford manufactures 655,000 engines at Bridgend but contracts are coming to an end and the company could only retain 125,000 jobs in the future.
A leaked document was revealed and showed Ford Bridgend plant's performance in comparison to sites such as Dagenham in Essex. Overtime levels in Bridgend doubled than Dagenham's rates and this is attributed to absence, non-performance and work practices including paying staff allowances they are not entitled to. Overall, the underperformance adds six percent to the cost of the engines produced.
On Wednesday, Ford called a meeting with the Unions to discuss future reductions in planned investment in its new Dragon engine. There were healthy volumes of jobs available in the next years but "beyond that, identified workload is reduced and whilst such a forecast is not unusual, given the cyclical nature of our business, it is a concern and we fully understand that," said Ford in a statement. The company further proposed a joint working party with Union's unite and GMB to identify business opportunities.
Unite's Len McCluskey said the focus is to save jobs and that they will not allow Ford to walk away from its responsibilities. GMB's Jeff Beck affirmed and stressed the concerns of the hard-working members at the Ford plant as well as their families and the community. Bridgend MP Madeleine Moon met with Ford officials and recalled that nothing was definite with the job losses although the company is trying to find more work.
Ford announced a few months ago, that it would cut engines and reduce investments. For this matter, the Welsh government offered aid just so the company could retain 500 jobs. Ford is an important investor in the UK as it has been established for over 100 years. Losing two-thirds of jobs at Wales' third biggest manufacturing plant could lead to a serious economic crisis, as noted by Theresa May and some economy spokespersons.