Ford union plans mass shop floor meeting to discuss Dagenham closure plans
Union bosses are planning to stage a mass shop floor meeting as part of their campaign to avert the stamping plant closure in Dagenham.
Britain’s biggest union, Unite, is to request permission to hold the meeting with its members at the factory in Chequers Lane during one of the shifts the week after next.
Unite said it had gone in “cold war” mode with management after the US car giant unveiled plans to shut the 750-staff facility next July in a bid to offset losses on European markets.
Unite official Vince Passfield said: “We’re in direct opposition to the plant closure.
“We are urgently trying to discuss the matter further with Ford. The trade union is still in consultation with Ford.
“We’re in a cold war situation, a stand-off situation. There has been no further talks or development since the announcement.
“We will be formally requesting access to all the workforce for the mass meeting.
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“There is still a great deal of shock and anger across the plant.”
Ford announced on October 25 that it planned to shut the stamping plant to tackle the “severe and persistent economic crisis” in Europe.
The car giant expects to make a profit overall in 2012 but a loss of almost �1billion within its European division this year.
Staff in the stamping plant, which makes car panels for Ford models, could be given the opportunity to transfer to the adjacent engine plant in Chequers Lane.
Engine plant worker Alan Rawson, 56, said: “I have seen the factory run down over the years. It’s a shame.
“A lot of people are reaching retirement. It will give youngsters the chance to come down here and get a job.”
The US car maker declined to comment on the planned shop floor meeting.
A spokesman said: “Ford regards its relationship with its workforce and unions as confidential and we would therefore not wish to comment.”