2,500 car jobs at Ford and Rolls-Royce cut

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The Independent Online
THE MOTOR industry suffered a double blow yesterday as Ford and Rolls-Royce announced almost 2,500 job losses, blaming the downturn in car sales.

Ford is making nearly 1,500 people redundant at Dagenham, Essex, Halewood, Merseyside and its Bridgend plant in Wales. Rolls- Royce is shedding 950 jobs in Crewe, Cheshire.

The latest job losses follow British Aerospace's announcment on Wednesday of 3,000 redundancies in its regional aircraft division and further underline manufacturing industry's pessimism about the prospects for economic recovery.

Ian McAllister, chairman of Ford, said the cuts were a 'painful but inevitable' result of poor trading conditions. Ford employed 80,000 people in 1980.

Ford unions said they would resist plans to defer a pay increase by six months and what would be the first compulsory redundancies in 30 years.

Bill Morris, general secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union, added that his union would back industrial action if members demanded it.

The cuts at Rolls-Royce are designed to reduce the company's break-even point to 1,400 cars a year, although that is still above this year's expected sales of between 1,250 and 1,350 cars.

Sir Colin Chandler, chief executive of Vickers, which owns Rolls- Royce, said: 'I hope this is the last cut we have to make.'