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Ford plans to cut 1100 jobs at UK's Bridgend plant

Published 02 March 2017

Automaker Ford is planning to cut over 1,100 jobs at its engine plant in Bridgend in South Wales, UK, over the next five years.

The Bridgend site manufactures small petrol engines for Ford, as well as V6 and V8 engines for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).

Ford plans to reduce the Bridgend site’s workforce in 2018, after the introduction of a new engine that it will make in lower volumes.

Instead of the 511,000 Sigma engines Ford currently manufactures per year, the site will only make 125,000 Dragon engines annually.

The contract with JLR is due to expire in 2020 and Ford could move the work to a new engine plant at Wolverhampton.

The contract to build the engines was signed at the time when India’s Tata Motors acquired JLR from Ford in 2008.

UK trade union Unite alleges that Ford workers at the Bridgend plant have been kept in the dark over the issue for few months.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said Ford workers at Bridgend have every right to feel angry over the company’s behaviour.  

He said: “Over the coming days we will be consulting our members on our next steps, but they can be assured that Unite will use all its might to fight for the future of Bridgend. 

“We will not allow Ford to walk away from its responsibilities. Ford must give this plant a chance and work with Unite to secure a better future. 

“We will be seeking legally binding guarantees to secure future production at the plant as well as exploring how Bridgend’s production capacity can be fully utilised through the introduction of new lines.” 

According to Financial Times, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said ministers had been engaging with executives from across the automotive industry, including Ford.

May said: "We now account for about a third of Ford’s engine production.

“We have had dialogue with Ford, we will continue to have a regular dialogue with Ford about the ways the government can help to ensure that this success continues.”

Image: Ford plans for more than 1000 jobs cuts at Bridgend plant in UK. Photo: Courtesy of The Ford Motor Company.