Ford Bridgend Engine Plant workers are today in a series of meetings with the leader of their Unite Union, Len McCluskey, over the future of the plant.
He is meeting workers on the three shifts to discuss the reduction in engine manufacturing after Ford confirmed the current workforce was sustainable only until 2020, when a contract with JLR for V6 and V8 engines is due to end.
It currently employs about 1,800 but documents seen by the union suggest only 660 would remain to make Ford engines when the new and scaled-back Dragon engine is added from 2018. That was first announced about 18 months ago but last September the investment was cut from £181M to £100M and after Welsh Government agreed to £15M aid if 500 jobs were secured.
After lobbying by Mr McCluskey last month and the suggestion there could be industrial action unless Ford produced a five-year plan for the plant opened in 1970, the company said it has shared information with the union.
That plan is based on currently known developments and opportunities and is subject to usual business negotiations and investment decisions.
Confirming the developments, Ford said in a statement this morning, “Ford has therefore proposed a joint working party with its union partners, UNITE and GMB, to identify future business opportunities. It goes without saying, that in order to attract new business, the Bridgend operation would need to ensure its competitiveness, and addressing some of the current concerns relating to the plant’s efficiency would be high on the agenda.”