Ford reportedly planning to cut 1,160 jobs at Bridgend factory

Ford made around one third of Britain's total output of 2.4 million engines at Bridgend in 2015

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The Independent Online

Carmaker Ford is forecasting a cut of 1,160 workers at its plant in Bridgend by 2021, according to a leaked document from the company cited by the BBC.

According to the broadcaster, meetings are due to be held between executives and representatives of trade unions later in the day at the Welsh plant.

 “If it is true that Ford have plans to cut over 1,100 jobs at its Bridgend plant then this is desperate news for workers and would be a devastating blow to the South Wales economy,” said Owen Smith, MP for Pontypridd.

“We simply cannot afford to lose these jobs. I have said consistently that I feared it would be working people who end up paying the price for Brexit and I just hope and pray that I am wrong because plants like Ford in Bridgend are the mainstays of our local economy and we must retain them,” he added.

Ford declined to comment on the document to the BBC but said that it “fully understands” the longer term concerns of those affected.

The automotive giant made around one third of Britain's total output of 2.4 million engines at Bridgend in 2015 according to Reuters, but the leaked document says that the plant is underperforming compared to its sites at Dagenham in Essex.

Len McCluskey the leader of Unite, the UK's biggest union, earlier on Wednesday called upon Ford to commit to the Bridgend plant amid speculation around its future.

“Unite members are committed to Ford, the Welsh Assembly is committed to Ford, all we need now is for Ford to commit to its workforce. That means investment, new product lines and a clear plan for the plant’s future,” he said in a statement.

“With some of the most skilled workers anywhere in the UK there is no reason why this plant should not continue to play a key role in Ford’s future global plans.”