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Genk industrial action halts Southampton Transit production

Following industrial action at Ford's Genk, Belgium assembly plant following the announcement of 3,000 job losses there, Ford has on been forced to stop production of its Transit vans in Southampton for want of panel parts, the Financial Times (FT) reported on Friday 17 October, adding that the 1,603 workers at the Southampton plant have been sent on training courses for an indefinite period.

"We don't see any effect on other factories any time soon" Ford spokesman Neil Golightly told the paper, adding: "at the moment it is only Southampton." He said the company was hopeful of restarting work at Southampton, where the popular Transit van is made, soon, the FT added.

Golightly reportedly said discussions with the unions in Belgium were "progressing" and that Genk workers were allowing Mondeo cars to leave the factory.

While the FT noted that in addition to the job losses in Genk, Ford plans 1,700 early retirements in Germany and 500 in the UK, the Irish paper The Irish Examiner repeated this morning earlier unconfirmed reports that Ford plans to close Brown's Lane, one of the three Jaguar car assembly plants.

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