Boris Johnson writes to Ford over Dagenham plant closure
14:59 17 November 2012
Boris Johnson has written to Ford bosses in an attempt to mitigate the impact of the closure of the stamping plant in Dagenham, it has emerged.
The US car giant is planning to shut the 750-staff facility next July in an attempt to offset losses on European markets.
The London Assembly has also waded into the row about the closure, which has been described as blow to the capital’s economy.
Labour Assembly Member Andrew Dismore said: “It was with great disappointment that I heard about Ford’s plans to close its stamping plant in Dagenham.
“It is a serious blow for London’s economy and the workers who will be adversely affected.
“Ford’s withdrawal from Dagenham raises questions about the strength of London’s ability to attract and retain big players in the manufacturing field.”
Mr Dismore, who chairs the assembly’s economic committee, is planning to quiz the Mayor on provisions made to the Ford employees to help them access training and new employment.
City Hall said the Mayor had written to Ford management to find out more about the closure and was liaising with government agencies to lessen the impact of the closure.
A Mayor of London spokesman said: “Any job losses for Londoners are disappointing, and the Mayor is keen to ensure appropriate support and assistance is in place for the workers affected by Ford’s announcement.
“To this end, the Mayor is working closely with government agencies and Barking and Dagenham Council to try to mitigate the impact of the closure, and has written to Ford requesting further details on the expected timeline for the decommissioning of the site.”
Ford said that management had decided to close the stamping plant and adjoining tool room in Chequers Lane on October 19, a week before this was made public.
The car maker said that briefing government or local officials before breaking the news to staff would not have been “appropriate”.
A Ford spokesman said: “We are in an important consultation period with our employees and their representatives during which any discussions remain confidential.”