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Leaked document threatens jobs and conditions at Ford Bridgend
Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales
Ford workers' warnings of a rundown of the Bridgend plant have unfortunately proved correct. Ford has leaked documents indicating the rundown of the plant over the next four years. The document projects the loss of 1,160 workers.
And by linking the rundown to overtime payments, the company is clearly trying to use the threat of closure to force through cuts in pay and conditions at the plant. Like at Tata Steel, it is likely gunning for pensions too.
There must be a determined response to such blackmail. If Bridgend workers follow the advice of Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones and submit to the blackmail, then the company will continue the offensive and probably close the plant anyway.
Ford must be told that any attempt to run down Bridgend plant or attack pay, conditions and pensions will be met with UK-wide strike action. The company must be set a deadline by which time if they have not guaranteed the plant's future then action will be called.
And until the sourcing is confirmed, the union must tell Ford that any attempt to take machinery from the plant will be stopped - this will send a clear message that the union is serious.
Instead of backing up Ford, the Welsh government should be backing Ford workers and making it clear that unless sourcing for engines is secured it will be calling for the nationalisation of the Ford plants.
Workers have made big sacrifices to get promised sourcing and the Welsh Government has given £15 million, but management is ripping up its promises.
Rob Williams, ex-Swansea plant convenor and National Shop Stewards Network chair, said: "The Ford unions must put pressure on the Labour Welsh Assembly to commit to nationalisation if Ford threaten to pull out. This would put added pressure on Ford and send the clear message that these jobs cannot be allowed to go!"
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