Ford cuts 850 jobs and reviews pay deal

Car giant Ford is to axe up to 850 jobs in the UK in response to the "serious economic situation" affecting the motor industry, the firm announced today.

The Transit van plant in Southampton will be hardest hit, with between 400 and 500 jobs set to be lost by May.

Another 350 jobs will be lost across the company through a restructuring of salaried staff.



Ford also announced that it wanted to "re-evaluate" this year's pay deal of 5.2 per cent, saying that its business situation had worsened "significantly" since it was drawn up last October.

The company said in a statement: "Such a serious step would not normally be contemplated but in the unprecedented circumstances the priority is to ensure a sustainable Ford Motor Company."

John Fleming, chief executive of Ford of Europe said: "As demand across the industry continues to fall, we are facing some immediate and major challenges which require us to take decisive action to reduce all our costs, and to do so in ways which will best protect our business for the long term and ensure that we are well positioned to be among the winners when recovery does come.

"Those companies which act quickly in taking the right decisions will be those who not only survive but who emerge strongest from this deep recession. We aim to be one of those who emerge stronger than before."



One worker at the site in Southampton said there would be a mass meeting of workers.



Gary Alexander, a worker at the factory for 20 years, said outside the gates: "It's doom and gloom here at the moment and I think this factory's days are numbered.

"They (Ford) went back on their word about the pay offer and they said there would be no more job losses.

"They said the redundancies will be voluntary but they will not get that many."

Mr Alexander said that if the factory was really lucky it might get the chance to build a new chassis-cab model of the Transit but that would not be for several more years.

He said he did not think the workers would go on strike, "nobody wants that".

GMB officer Justin Bowden said: "Ford of Europe made a profit in excess of £1 billion in 2008. The pay offer reflects last year's rate of inflation and the massive contribution to that profit by the UK Ford workers.

"Yet again Ford is going back on its agreement with its workforce and this time it is on pay. They tabled a final offer at the end of last year and in good faith it has been overwhelmingly accepted.

"Now they are suggesting that they will not honour the offer on pay and to add insult to injury want to cut 850 highly skilled UK jobs."





Ford said declining customer demand for commercial vehicles had had a "significant" impact on its Southampton plant, which currently operates on less than four shifts a week.

"Continued non-production days with employees on basic pay are not affordable in the absence of a significant improvement in customer demand.

"To address this, the company will open a voluntary separation programme for salaried and hourly Southampton employees to bring manned capacity into line with customer demand, with between 400 and 500 employees leaving by May 2009. "

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions