Ford workers to be balloted on pensions strike

Ford Unite said Ford's factory workers want more reassurance about their job security

Related Stories

More than 5,000 Ford workers across the UK are being balloted by their Unite union on strike action about changes to pensions and job security.

The dispute follows Ford's cull of around 1,500 jobs after it closed some UK facilities in 2012, said Unite.

Ford said negotiations with its partner unions about pay, conditions and working practices were "underway" and it had "nothing further to add".

Unite said workers were "fed-up" as they were "always on the front line".

It said Ford's decision to link pension increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rather than "more representative" Retail Price Index (RPI) was also behind the action.

Workers 'angry'

Unite said Ford's hourly-paid workers were "calling on the company to commit to greater job security through a legally-binding information and consultation agreement".

Ford had "refused" to enter into a discussion about how to improve the company pension scheme after it announced the CPI linkage announced in 2010, Unite said.

Employees, who mostly work on production lines in Bridgend, Daventry, Halewood, Dunton and two sites in Dagenham are being targeted for action.

A spokesperson for Ford said: "The company has a long-established practice of negotiating the pay, conditions and working practices of employees with its partner unions in the UK."

They said an agreement between the company and unions had been reached in 2011.

But they said talks were started again in 2013 after "recognising the priority for industry-leading levels of cost, efficiency and competitiveness".

'Not unreasonable'

Discussions were still underway between the company and unions for "other areas of the workforce", but there was "nothing further to add regarding these negotiations", the spokesperson said.

Roger Maddison, national officer at Unite, said Ford's workers were "always on the front line" when the company wanted to make cuts.

He said Ford's staff now wanted it to make some commitments to job security after the closure of the Southampton plant in 2012.

Mr Maddison added: "This is not an unreasonable request but the company is refusing to give its loyal UK workforce and their families some well-deserved rights in line with their EU counterparts.

"Workers are also angry that the company is refusing to look at ways to improve the pension scheme."

He said the staff felt they had "no choice" and were balloting for strike action to "get the company back around the negotiating table".

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories

RSS

BBC Business Live

  1.  
    ED MILIBAND SPEECH 06:33: BBC Radio 4

    Andrew Harrop, general secretary of the Fabian society, tells the Today programme he thinks Ed Miliband's speech to the Labour party conference was the most pro business of any Labour leader (we won't mention the sections Mr Miliband forgot). " He talked about some of the big economic fundamentals but there was also a lot there for small businesses. He talked about entrepreneurship and he talked about self employment for the first time, I think, from any politician. He shows he gets the economy."

     
  2.  
    PUBLIC SECTOR STRIKES 06:26:

    Are we in for an Autumn/Winter of discontent? News has emerged that public sector workers will stage a three day walkout next month in a further protest over pay. Public sector workers have had their pay frozen since 2010. Health unions are staging a walkout on October 13 with council workers due to walk out the following day.

     
  3.  
    CRICKET BOND 06:14: Radio 5 live
    Lancs ground

    Premium Bonds are the nearest most small punters get to bonds. Here's a new opportunity: Lancashire County Cricket Club is launching its first mini-bond to raise £3m. It wants to build a new hotel and conference facilities at its Old Trafford Ground. Its paying 5% a year - plus another 2% in credit to use at the cricket club.

     
  4.  
    PIMCO INVESTIGATION 06:05:

    The Financial Times reports that US financial regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating bond trader Pimco's pricing of exchange traded funds, which it says is casting the latest cloud over the world's largest fund manager. Pimco has been dogged by poor performance and management infighting in recent months the newspaper claims.

     
  5.  
    06:01: Rebecca Marston Business reporter, BBC News

    Good morning from me, too. We're braced for whatever the day's news brings. And you can get in touch too via email at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk and on twitter @BBCbusiness. Stay with us until 13:00.

     
  6.  
    06:00: Matthew West Business Reporter

    Morning folks. Royal Bank of Scotland has cut the price of shares in its US subsidiary Citizen Financial Group ahead of trading on the New York Stock Exchange and Imperial Tobacco has called Labour leader Ed Miliband's plan tax the profits of cigarette firms "unjust". We've got United Utilities releases a trading statement later today and we also have full year results from Topps Tiles.

     

Features

From BBC Capital

Programmes

  • Islamic StateClick Watch

    Can the location of Islamic State militants be found with open source data?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.