Ford confirm closure of United Kingdom plant

Bridgend Wales. Ford are reportedly planning to close their Bridgend plant putting 1,700 jobs at risk. The British car industry is facing a series of difficu

Opened in 1977, Bridgend now employs 1,700 workers, with 400 already signed up for voluntary redundancy and departing this year, according to a spokesperson. Union leaders and representatives have been called to a meeting with senior managers both from the U.S. and Ford Europe at the UK Ford headquarters in Essex.

Another 1,000 work at the company's other sites in Scunthorpe, Howden and Hull.

"Ford's decision to shut its Bridgend engine plant in 2020 is a grotesque act of economic betrayal", said Len McCluskey, head of Unite, Britain's biggest trade union. "The UK government will work closely with Ford, the trade unions and the Welsh Government, to make sure this highly-valued workforce can move into new skilled employment".

Mexico by an American company.

In a letter, the 1,700 workers were told they will lose their jobs in phases from 25 September next year. They show 13,000 jobs in the sector disappeared between 2008 and 2018 - a fall of almost 8%.

Illustrative image of a Ford Logo, Cambridge, . "It includes representatives from the council, Welsh Government, the Department of Work and Pensions, Job Centre Plus, Business Wales, Careers Wales, Bridgend College and more".

The Brexit shutdown of factories by British vehicle makers was part of a contingency plans created to mitigate the impact of the United Kingdom leaving the EU customs union and single market. My thoughts are with the families involved, and I intend to extend my full support to those in need throughout the coming months.

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The Welsh government said it would set up a task force to help workers find other jobs following Ford's announcement.

In January, Ford said that as part of a worldwide turnaround effort it would cut thousands of jobs, look at plant closures and discontinue loss-making vehicle lines, and would start consultations with unions on the plans.

Minister for economy and transport Ken Skates added: "The Ford engine plant has been a part of the fabric of Bridgend for nearly four decades and my heart goes out to all those employed at the site and in the supply chain".

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said: "This is devastating news for workers, their families and the wider community". However, we must accept that nothing can stop this being a dark day for Bridgend and the Welsh auto industry.

"That was the same period during which Bridgend Ford came to prominence, and it has played a crucial role in the county borough ever since".

Ford Bridgend engine plant workers deserve "so much better" than the factory's closure, which has now been confirmed by the firm, local AM and ex-first minister Carwyn Jones has said. "We will ensure the voice of business is heard and represented, to both Welsh and UK Governments, about what action is needed to ensure Wales' continued ability to compete in a global economy".

A no-deal Brexit would lead to the company having "to consider seriously the long-term future of our investments in the country", the manufacturer's Europe chairman Steven Armstrong warned in April.

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