First Minister, Carwyn Jones, and Economy Secretary, Ken Skates, met the Vice President of Ford Europe, Linda Cash to discuss the future of the Ford site in Bridgend.
The meeting came on the day Ford executives were in the plant to see it complete its 20M engine in exactly 37 years and speaking after the meeting in Cardiff Bay, First Minister Carwyn Jones said, “I was pleased to meet Linda Cash and her senior team last night to talk about the future of the Ford Engine plant.
“It was a productive meeting in which we discussed plans for investment at the site and ways in which we can protect manufacturing and jobs at Bridgend into the long-term.
“We all agreed that the plant is a vital part of the Welsh manufacturing economy and we reiterated to Ford that Welsh Government stands ready to help in any way that it can to support the factory and the workforce.
“Ford has been an important presence in Bridgend over the last three decades, producing 20 million high-quality engines and supporting thousands of excellent, well paid jobs. We all want production at the site to continue long into the future.”
Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates added, “The recent announcement of changes to production levels at Ford have clearly been of concern and we represented to the Ford team the anxieties of workers and unions at the plant.
“The site is secure in the short to medium term with demand guaranteeing current levels of employment and so a large part of our discussion was focused around the future of the plant beyond 2020.
“We impressed on the Vice President and her team the exemplary history of the site and the huge potential for it to play an important role in the Ford group into the long-term.”
He went on, “We all want Bridgend and its excellent workforce to continue to produce fantastic quality engines and we will work tirelessly to support a positive dialogue between unions, workforce and management to ensure that the site is in the very best shape to win new work.”
With Ms Cash was Kieran Cahill, a former BEP manager who is now Director Powertrain Operations, Ford of Europe.
Unite, which represents nearly all workers at BEP, is planning to meet the President Ford Europe, Jim Farley, early next month.