Ford to cut jobs in European revamp

Galtero Lara
Enero 12, 2019

Armstrong said the company is in negotiations with worker representatives about potential job cuts at its Saarlouis plant in Germany, where 6,190 staff assemble cars, as the carmaker considers discontinuing production of its Ford C-Max model.

The automaker, which employs some 54,000 workers across the region mainly in Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain, will also review its joint venture in Russian Federation, part of a host of measures that Steven Armstrong, Ford's head of Europe, called a "step-change in the performance of the business".

If plans go ahead, the 990 jobs to be lost at Bridgend - nearly half of the site's workforce - will go in two phases by 2021, as part of 1,150 losses across the UK.

Unions have pledged to fight compulsory redundancies at the vehicle giant's plant in Bridgend after they were briefed by Ford management on Friday.

The Ford logo is seen at the New York Auto Show in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 29, 2018.

Shop stewards from Ford factories have now been given a briefing on the proposals.

"Unite is fully committed to opposing any compulsory redundancies and campaigning strongly for Bridgend to have a viable future".

The cost-cutting plan has not been adjusted to account for the possibility of a "hard" exit by Britain from the European Union without securing tariff-free cross-border trade, Armstrong said. We will be consulting our members very closely in the days and weeks ahead.

Media captionThe story behind how the Ford engine plant in Bridgend was built between 1977 and 1980.

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"We're expecting a modest contraction of European production this year". "This isn't a one or two year issue".

This is because it was widely known that Bridgend's contract to make engines for JLR was coming to an end and that Ford's own plans for a new engine had been scaled right back.

But we understand that early talks are around a first tranche of job losses involving voluntary redundancies.

"It does reflect the uncertainty that all Ford workers face", he said. "They gave no indication of any particular threat to Bridgend or any other plant for that matter, but they did say they were rethinking the way Ford were operating in Europe", he added.

"These reports are devastating - both for the workers directly affected and the wider Welsh economy", he said.

The FT reported that Ford's job losses will come as it bids to cut $14bn globally.

USA carmaker Ford said on Thursday that it plans a major restructuring of its European operations, including job cuts, to boost profitability.

Steven Armstrong, Ford's European group vice president, said the company was taking "decisive action" to transform its European business.

"We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term sustainably profitable business, creating value for all our stakeholders and delivering emotive vehicles to our customers".

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