Dagenham Ford workers poised to strike over job security and pensions row

Ford workers have been balloted for strike action

Ford workers have been balloted for strike action - Credit: Archant

Thousands of Ford workers have been balloted for strike action in a row over job security and pensions.

Unite the union has balloted the motor giant’s paid workforce across its six UK sites including at Dagenham, with an outcome expected within a couple of weeks according to a spokesman.

He said workers were “angry” and felt they had “no choice” but to strike as they demand commitments to job security in line with their counterparts in other European Union countries and improvements in the pension scheme.

“Ford workers in the UK are always on the frontline when the company wants to axe staff,” said Unite national officer Roger Maddison.

“This is not an unreasonable request but the company is refusing to give its loyal UK workforce and their families some well-deserved rights in line with their EU counterparts.”

Ford Dagenham saw the closure of its stamping and tooling facility last year with the loss of around 1,500 jobs.

In 2010 Ford announced its intention to use CPI (Consumer Price Index) to calculate its inflation linked increases to pension scheme payments, rather than RPI (retail price index), which is considered more representative.

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A Ford spokesman said: “The company has a long established practice of negotiating the pay, conditions and working practices of employees with its partner Unions in the UK.

“In 2011 a two-year agreement was reached and we re-entered discussions in 2013, recognising the priority for industry-leading levels of cost, efficiency and competitiveness.

“This process has been completed for some employees but is still underway between the Company and Unions for other areas of the workforce.”

As well as two sites in Dagenham, Ford is also located in Bridgend, Daventry, Halewood and Dunton.