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Ballot over Aveley plant closure could spark Ford group-wide strike

If a majority of members at Ford's Aveley pilot plant vote in support of industrial action against its planned closure, Amicus says it will move to ballot members for industrial action across the whole Ford group.

Amicus and the T&G have asked for an urgent meeting with Ford management to discuss what they describe as the company's third breach of a 'Sourcing and Investment Agreement' after the closure of operations at Croydon and Boreham.

Duncan Simpson, Amicus National Officer for the automotive industry, says: "Our members at Aveley have already voted overwhelmingly for an industrial action ballot and if a majority vote to take industrial action we are prepared to ask our members across Ford if they want to support Aveley's fight against closure." In a consultative ballot of members at Aveley taken earlier this month, 76% voted in favour of a strike ballot. The ballot for industrial action at Aveley is expected to take two to three weeks to conduct.

- Meanwhile the local union officials' view of Ford's amended 2003-5 pay and conditions offer to Land Rover workers is due to become known at the end of this week; no details have been released by either management or the three unions concerned, and the latters' national officers have neither recommended nor rejected it. The two 24-hour strikes, the second of which prompted Land Rover's management to revise their offer, are understood to have cost some 2,000 units of production.

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