Belfast Telegraph

Unite union seeking urgent assurances over future of Ford plant in Bridgend

Union leaders are to press car giant Ford to give assurances over the future of a UK engine plant after it decided to cut planned investment by almost half.

Unite said the move cast doubt over jobs at the Bridgend plant in south Wales, where a new Dragon engine is to be built.

General secretary Len McCluskey will call on senior Ford executives based in the United States to meet with the union and provide answers over the future of Bridgend.

He will host an emergency meeting of senior Unite Ford reps on Thursday at the union's headquarters in London.

With other engines produced at Bridgend coming to the end of their production lifespan, Unite is seeking urgent assurances over Bridgend's future.

Mr McCluskey said: "The scaling back of the Dragon engine investment at Bridgend is extremely concerning.

"It raises serious questions over Ford's long term intentions for Bridgend and its commitment to its entire UK operation.

"Ford needs to provide answers fast if it is to head off speculation that it has a hidden exit plan for its UK sites.

"The Welsh government has already backed Unite's calls for more transparency from Ford and it is now time for Theresa May and the Westminster government to do the same.

"Ultimately the decisions around Ford UK are made around the boardroom table in Detroit.

"Today we are calling on the most senior Ford executives in the US to meet with myself and Unite to discuss these critical matters."

Ford had planned to build 250,000 of the new engines a year from 2018, but that figure has been halved and investment scaled back from £181 million to £100 million.

Ford said it did not plan any job losses among the 1,850-strong workforce and said it still had a "substantial commitment" to the plant.