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Shocked and angry Ford Dagenham staff plot shop floor meeting

Redundancies: The stamping plant is to close with the loss of up to 750 jobs next July Redundancies: The stamping plant is to close with the loss of up to 750 jobs next July

Saturday, November 3, 2012
10:58 AM

Union bosses are planning to stage a mass shop floor meeting as part of their campaign to avert the Ford stamping plant closure in Dagenham.

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Unite is to request permission to hold the meeting with its members at the factory in Chequers Lane during one of the shifts next week.

Leaders said they had entered into “Cold War” mode with management after the US car maker confirmed plans to shut the 750-staff facility next July in a bid to offset losses on European markets.

Unite official Vince Passfield said: “We’re in direct opposition to the plant closure.

“We are urgently trying to discuss the matter further with Ford. The trade union is still in consultation with Ford.

“We’re in a Cold War situation, a stand-off situation. There has been no further talks or development since the announcement.

“We will be formally requesting access to all the workforce for the mass meeting.

“There is still a great deal of shock and anger across the plant.”

Ford announced on October 25 that it planned to shut the stamping plant to tackle the “severe and persistent economic crisis” in Europe.

The car giant expects to make a profit overall in 2012 but a loss of almost £1billion within its European division this year.

Staff in the stamping plant, which makes car panels for Ford models, could be given the opportunity to transfer to the adjacent engine plant in Chequers Lane.

Engine plant worker Alan Rawson, 56, said: “I have seen the factory run down over the years. It’s a shame.

“A lot of people are reaching retirement. It will give youngsters the chance to come down here and get a job.”

Ford declined to comment on the planned shop floor meeting.

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