Ford is planning to cut more than 1,000 jobs in the UK over two years, with more than half the workforce at its Bridgend plant in south Wales likely to be axed.
Union stewards were briefed on the likely scale of redundancies in the UK on Friday, 24 hours after Ford joined Jaguar Land Rover in giving notice of widespread job losses as part of a complete overhaul of their struggling European operations.
The US carmaker is understood to be planning to cut 1,150 jobs, including 1,000 at its Bridgend engine plant, with the rest falling at its transport division, affecting lorry drivers around the country.
This level of redundancies, divided into two phases ending in 2021, would account for more than half of Bridgend’s 1,950-strong workforce. Ford refused to confirm the figures and said it was consulting with unions.
Britain’s largest trade union, Unite, vowed to fight against any compulsory redundancies. “It is a devastating blow for our members and their families, as well as having grave implications for the Welsh economy and the supply chain,” said Des Quinn, Unite’s national officer for the automotive industry.
“There are a number of factors behind this grim news – the main ones being challenging market conditions for carmakers generally, a lack of a coherent industrial strategy from the UK government and the uncertainty created by Brexit.
“Over the last two decades the UK car industry has experienced a renaissance of which we can all be proud of.
“The challenge for government, the carmakers and the unions in the near future is to fight very hard to maintain the environment that made that success possible,” Quinn said.