Ford: 1,000 Bridgend jobs could be lost by 2021

Ford workers in Bridgend

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The job losses in Bridgend would be phased over the next two years

About 1,000 jobs are under threat at a Ford plant in south Wales.

The car giant is looking to shake up its European operations, with their site in Bridgend set to be the hardest hit over the next two years.

If plans go ahead, the Bridgend jobs – more than half of the site’s workforce – will go in two phases by 2021, as part of 1,150 losses across the UK.

Ford declined to confirm the figures and said it was currently consulting with unions.

It said these talks were ahead of it implementing a “comprehensive transformation strategy”.

The Bridgend site produces engines for Ford motor vehicles and employs about 1,700 people in total.

The Unite union called it “grim news” and said shop stewards had been given a briefing.

“It is a devastating blow for our members and their families, as well as having grave implications for the Welsh economy and the supply chain,” said officer Des Quinn.

“Unite is fully committed to opposing any compulsory redundancies and campaigning strongly for Bridgend to have a viable future.”

He said representatives would consult with members over the coming days.

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Production of a new Jaguar engine at Bridgend was halted for a week in October

He added: “There are a number of factors behind this grim news – the main ones being challenging market conditions for carmakers generally, a lack of a coherent industrial strategy from the UK government and the uncertainty created by Brexit.

“Over the last two decades the UK car industry has experienced a renaissance of which we can all be proud of.

“The challenge for government, the carmakers and the unions in the near future is to fight very hard to maintain the environment that made that success possible.”

The 1,000 losses would come alongside 150 in Ford’s transport operations, which would affect lorry drivers.

On Thursday, the company said it would be speeding up plans to cut structural costs and thousands of jobs would go across Europe.

“We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe,” said group vice president for Europe, Steven Armstrong.

“We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term sustainably profitable business, creating value for all our stakeholders and delivering emotive vehicles to our customers.”

The announcement from Ford came on the same day as Jaguar Land Rover said it was axing 4,500 jobs and Honda said it was halting production for six days after Brexit.

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