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The Ford Dagenham plant earmarked for closure will shut its doors next July, it has emerged.

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Workers were in a state of shock today after the car giant announced it would close the 750-staff stamping and tool-making facility in Chequers Lane.

Devastated employees turned up for their shifts this morning only to be sent home around an hour later with pay and pension documents.

Ford bosses said redundancies would be voluntary with opportunities to move to the adjacent engine plant in Chequers Lane.

But Unite official Vince Passfield launched a scathing attack against management, saying the decision to close the factory had been “deceitful” and “ruthless”.

One worker Mark Spagnol, 49, of Western Avenue, Dagenham, said: “I’m gutted. I will have been 27 and a half years here when it closes next July.

“I’m one of the lucky ones, I haven’t got a mortgage and the kids are grown up. It’s the younger workers I’m worried about.”

Ford said it was forced to shut the plant to tackle the “severe and persistent economic crisis” on European markets.

The US car giant expects to make a profit overall in 2012 but a loss of at least $1.5billion in Europe this year.

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