Unite the Union announced today that 652 members at Ford UK’s Dagenham plant have begun voting on strike action following dissatisfaction over the way the plant’s closure is being managed.
Automotive OEM Ford announced last October that it would shut down its stamping and tooling facility in Dagenham with the loss of 1,500 jobs.
Workers voting for strike action today are angry at reported failures by their employer to find alternative employment for those being made redundant, despite promises that it would do so. There is also dissatisfaction with the quality of communication with staff being redeployed on the details of their new work.
Unite members at Ford Dagenham have proclaimed the severance packages being offered to staff as unsatisfactory and unfair. A Unite statement said: “Ford is offering a deal which is between £10,000 and £30,000 less than workers in Southampton are being offered. The cost of a mortgage in Essex is £75,000 higher than in Southampton.”
Commenting on the situation, Unite national officer Roger Maddison said:”The workers at Dagenham are furious and they are right to want to stand up to the company’s despicable behaviour.” Mr Madison also deplored Ford for its reported “threats” to withdraw severance packages if workers take action.
The ballot on strike action closes on 30 April with the result due on 1 May.
The Dagenham plant currently still supplies parts to Ford’s European operations.