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Ford is to axe 12,000 jobs across Europe including 1,700 losses at Bridgend plant

Ford has revealed plans to cut 12,000 jobs across Europe by the end of next year and close six factories, including a site in Bridgend, Wales.

The car firm announced it was shutting the 40-year-old plant in Bridgend earlier this month, meaning a loss of 1,700 jobs.

Now Ford has revealed three sites in Russia will shut in 2020 alongside a plant in Bordeaux, France, while another factory in Slovakia is being sold off.

The company said the cuts were part of a plan to make the business more profitable and added decreasing demand for cars and the increased costs of meeting stricter air quality laws meant the company had to be streamlined.  

As previously reported, unions reacted with fury to the closure of the Bridgend plant, which affects both internal jobs and companies supplying goods and services to the site.

 Ford has today announced plans to cut 12,000 jobs across Europe including the already announced shutting of the plant in Bridgend, Wales, pictured, where 1,700 jobs will go

Three sites in Russia will shut, including the manufacturing plant in Elabuga, pictured

Three sites in Russia will shut, including the manufacturing plant in Elabuga, pictured

Another plant in Bordeaux, France, pictured, will also shut by 2020 as part of the restructuring plan to cut costs

Another plant in Bordeaux, France, pictured, will also shut by 2020 as part of the restructuring plan to cut costs

Regarding Bridgend, the company blamed the ending of a contract with Jaguar Land Rover and a fall in sales of petrol engines amid huge changes in the car industry, stressing that the decision was not related to Brexit. 

Union sources said Ford bosses spent much of the meeting explaining how much cheaper it was to build engines at its plant in Mexico compared with Bridgend. 

Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe, said: ‘Separating employees and closing plants are the hardest decisions we make, and in recognition of the effect on families and communities, we are providing support to ease the impact.

‘We are grateful for the ongoing consultations with our works councils, trade union partners and elected representatives. 

‘Together, we are moving forward and focused on building a long-term sustainable future for our business in Europe.’ 

He added: ‘Ford will be a more targeted business in Europe, consistent with the company’s global redesign, generating higher returns through our focus on customer needs and a lean structure.

‘Implementing our new strategy quickly enables us to invest and grow our leading commercial vehicle business and provide customers with more electrified vehicles, SUVs, exciting performance derivatives and iconic imported models.’   

Around 2,000 of the 12,000 jobs affected are salaried positions. The rest are workers on hourly contracts or agency workers.

Pictured: Ford staff working on a Diesel engine at the Naberezhnye Chelny plant in Russia, which will also shut next year

Pictured: Ford staff working on a Diesel engine at the Naberezhnye Chelny plant in Russia, which will also shut next year

The Kechnec Transmission Plant in Slovakia, pictured, will be sold off as part of the plan

The Kechnec Transmission Plant in Slovakia, pictured, will be sold off as part of the plan

Ford Europe has 51,000 employees in Europe or 65,000 including joint projects with other firms. 

UK Unions said the news was devastating for the plant and the British economy, pledging to resist the closure ‘with all their might’, while Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said the decision was a ‘grotesque act of economic betrayal.’ 

The Bridgend site opened in 1980, covers an area of 60 acres, and is one of Wales’s major employers.

It came as another huge blow to the UK motor industry following news that Honda, Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan are also scaling back operations.

Workers at the Ford engine plant in Bridgend said they had expected the factory to shut, but were surprised at how soon the decision was made.

Some workers who were told of the closure had already been redeployed from Southampton, where the company’s Ford Transit plant shut in 2013. 

Pictured are staff at the Bridgend plant earlier this month after being told of the plans to close the factory by September 2020. Unions reacted with fury and said they would fight against the closure with 'all their might'

Pictured are staff at the Bridgend plant earlier this month after being told of the plans to close the factory by September 2020. Unions reacted with fury and said they would fight against the closure with ‘all their might’

The Welsh government said it will set up a task force to help workers find other jobs following Ford’s announcement to close its Bridgend factory.

Speaking earlier this month Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said Ford had failed to repay the faith of its workers and the community in south Wales.

He added: ‘Ford broke promise after promise to the UK. First, it was that it would build 500,000 engines at Bridgend. That fell to a quarter of a million, then fell again and again.

‘The company has deliberately run down its UK operations so that now not a single Ford vehicle – car or van – is made in the UK.

‘Ford has treated its UK workers abysmally, and they could do so because the fact remains that it is cheaper, easier and quicker to sack our workers than those in our competitor countries.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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