Union urges Ford to build Vauxhalls at Dagenham

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The Independent Online

The head of a major car-industry union today called on Ford to build Volvo cars at the under-threat Dagenham plant and save thousands of jobs.

The head of a major car-industry union today called on Ford to build Volvo cars at the under-threat Dagenham plant and save thousands of jobs.

AEEU general secretary Sir Ken Jackson argued that Ford, which now owns Volvo, should abandon its plans to move production of Volvos from The Netherlands to Belgium, and switch it to Britain instead.

Union leaders are due to meet Ford management later this week to try to save the thousands of jobs which will be lost when production of Ford cars ends at the Essex complex in 18 months' time.

"They are moving production from The Netherlands to Belgium, and we have said it would be more realistic to move it to Dagenham, where they have got facilities, rather than build additional facilities in Belgium," Sir Ken told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"It seems to us logical that we use the Dagenham facilities, we upgrade those," he said.

"They have got to build a new plant there, we have already got facilities at Dagenham. They would need upgrading, but they wouldn't need to start from scratch.

"It does seem that about the same number of jobs would be created in Belgium, about 1,800, very similar to the number of jobs that are being lost in Dagenham."

He added: "We are hoping to persuade Ford that Dagenham has still got a future."

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